Wellness Matters

5 Tips To 'Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle'

March 10, 2015


By: Jenifer A. Williams RD, LDN
Outpatient Dietitian
Annie Penn Hospital

National Nutrition Month is designated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annually in March. This year’s theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” focuses on education to help people make informed nutrition decisions and develop physical activity habits that promote a healthy lifestyle.

In recognition of National Nutrition Month, here are five tips to “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”:
  • Set small, measurable goals - While it’s commendable to have a long-term goal, smaller goals will help you keep focused. To achieve a healthy weight, aim for a 0.5-2 pound weight loss per week, which will add up over time. Even small amounts of weight loss, such as a 7-10 percent weight loss of your current body weight, can make a large impact on your overall health.

  • Eat by the clock - Eating at least three meals per day around the same time each day will provide consistency for your eating plan and overall routine. It will also prevent skipping meals, which can lead to hunger and excessive calorie intake throughout the day.

  • Add color and variety to your plate - Eating foods from all food groups is essential for optimal nutrition. Aim to have one half of your plate fruits and vegetables, one quarter of your plate protein, and the remaining quarter of your plate starch. Choosing lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains most often are key components for a balanced diet.

  • Start moving - Along with a healthy diet, exercise is also important for optimal health. Starting small with 10-minute mini exercise sessions three times a day can add up quickly. Aim for two and a half hours of exercise a week (just 30 minutes a day). Choose an exercise you enjoy to easily incorporate regular exercise into your schedule. If you are not currently active, talk to your physician about physical activity options.

  • Focus on fiber - Fiber is an important nutrient that regulates digestion, improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and keeps us fuller longer. Whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables are excellent examples of high-fiber foods to include in your diet to increase fiber content. Remember to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fiber intake to prevent constipation.

For more information about achieving a healthy lifestyle, contact the Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center

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