From Charlene Mize, Registered Dietian and WIC Coordinator
When talking about developing or keeping a healthy weight I’m all about helping people work towards adopting long term habits, so my ideas and approach are simple. People are always looking for the magic fix, and it just does not exist. Plus, magic does not create long lasting habits!
1. Plan out your meals/dinners, and grocery shop with a list. Plan to grocery shop just 1x per week or once every 7-10 days. This will save you money! Plus you will end up buying less junk foods and you are more likely to use the produce you buy instead of it going to waste!
2. Whenever and wherever possible, add fruits and veggies. Add a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach and an extra tomato or carrots to your bagged salads. Extend canned soups by adding in a can of diced tomatoes or beans. Fold in canned pumpkin into your pancakes or baked goods (delicious!!) Choose carrots and dip instead of chips and dip, etc. Grab an apple to go with your granola bar for your afternoon snack. Use applesauce for your pancakes instead of syrup.
3. Move your body! It was meant to move. We now live in an age where our attention is demanded at every turn. Our kids need us, our family needs us. We now habitually check our phones, our email and Facebook, etc. because we don’t want to miss anything. Take a mental health break and move your body. You deserve it! Find an activity you enjoy and just start. You will feel better, you will sleep better, you will feel more even, and less stressed. Start by just wearing your tennis shoes around the house, then commit to walking outside for 5 minutes. Add time and breathe! You don’t have to suddenly start running marathons for it to be called exercise. Every step counts.
4. Save soda for special occasions or when going out to eat. If its in the house, you are going to be tempted! Don’t buy it! Limit juice to just one time of day, if you have to have it. (Breakfast in the mornings, or with a snack).
5. I love dessert and chocolate is a food group for me! It is fine to have dessert but we get ourselves into trouble when we mindlessly eat. If you are going to enjoy dessert or sweets, allow yourself the time to enjoy it. Make yourself sit down free of distractions and enjoy the moment! Skip sweets when you are stressed, upset, or overly tired.
Those are great starting points and basics for anyone wanting a healthy lifestyle.
Charlene Mize, MS, RD, CD
WIC Coordinator/ Registered Dietitian