As we head into the New Year, many people are making resolutions to better manage their money, get in shape, or eat healthier. However, when it comes to making changes in our diet, nutritionists say it is all about moderation and monitoring portion sizes.
“We don’t want to just stick with one food or cut any of the food groups out. We still teach the grains, the fruits, the vegetables, the dairy group, as well as the protein group,” said Jill Spangler, Registered Dietitian with the Howard Long Wellness Center at Wheeling Hospital.
Also, studies show that setting small, more attainable goals may make it easier to keep your resolution, like serving an extra vegetable at dinner or drinking a bottle of water before breakfast.
“Set specific goals rather than just saying, ‘I’m going to eat healthier and loose weight.’ Try to set a positive, doable goal,” said Spangler.
It is also important to remember to stay hydrated. Nutritionists recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
When it comes to meals, it is better to eat less, more frequently throughout the day.
“Our body can only metabolize so much at one time, so it’s best to take those three big meals and space them out into five or six smaller meals through the day,” said Spangler.
Beginning January 1st, food labels will tell you how many added grams of sugar are in each serving. You should avoid those added sugars and go for something more natural, like fruits.
Some other tips to make your diet a little healthier are to make half of your grains whole grain, always make sure half of your plate is made of fruit or vegetables, and eat low-fat or fat-free dairy products.