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Non-Diet Approach to Nutrition in the New Year

I don’t know about you but as I clean up from the holiday festivities I am thinking about New Years and the need to make a resolution for 2019! Many of us may be thinking diet or improved health is a focus. During the holidays we tend to indulge and get off track with taking care of ourselves. If this is you or someone you know, I challenge you for 2019: not to diet!

Dieting consists of restrictions, keeping yourself from eating foods you enjoy or maybe following some fad diet and eating foods you don’t enjoy. Weight loss is a billion dollar industry! We can’t pass up that grocery check-out isle magazine with the actress on the front that lost 20lbs in 20 days! There are pills and supplements, hypnotists and even doctors that promise if you follow their plan you will achieve desired results.

While any of these diets produce weight loss because you are making a change in what you have been eating or you restrict calories, none of them are sustainable. They are not sustainable because they are a plan that will not last, it isn’t a way of eating for life and it won’t teach us a way of eating healthy as most are meant to be temporary and then we just go back to our old habits and gain the weight back (and then some). So as part of the not dieting challenge this year, change the way you have been eating and managing your weight with a sustainable eating plan. This way next year’s resolution can be about something more fun for a change!

You ask then, what is a sustainable eating plan? The answer is well-balanced and properly portioned meals and snacks within your daily calorie needs, combined with an active lifestyle. Check that out…that didn’t even contribute to the billion dollar weight loss industry!! Each meal should consist of a grain, a protein, a dairy component, a fruit and/or vegetable serving, all of this creates balance. If you recall my last blog with reference to this variety of food groups and how much of each we need daily, then using that as a guide will help you to create a healthy menu and grocery list. Your local Registered Dietitian (myself included) can calculate your calorie needs to help achieve your healthy weight status. We can also help create this healthy meal plan.

That leads me to the next factor in a sustainable eating style…planning. Plan your meals, make grocery list with well-balanced meal and snack ideas. Cook ahead maybe on the weekends or a day off and store food in ready to grab-and-go or reheat containers. Seek out healthy recipe ideas. Cook dinner for tonight and throw something in the crock pot for the nights you know dinner will be rushed to eliminate eating fast food or ordering out. Pack your lunch and snacks for the work day so you are not tempted to order out with the gang or choose something from the vending machine. Keep healthy snacks in the car or a purse to avoid satisfying between meal hunger with junk food. Do not skip meals. Plan to eat your meals and snacks at roughly the same time every day, ideally every 2-3 hours. This will boost your metabolism and prompt your body not to store fat.

Stay active! As I mentioned last month every bit of activity counts. I recently started using a balance/exercise ball to sit on while at the desk. Standing desks if possible are a great idea but for those that don’t have the option to stand try the exercise ball. With the ball you can wiggle, change seat position and engage your core. We all know the gyms will be packed for the next few weeks. While the gym is a great idea many of us can get the same kind of activity outdoors or in our own homes.

Keep in mind that most insurance plans will cover a visit to the Dietitian that would be utilizing money already coming out of your paycheck ;) Wishing you all a Very Happy and Healthy New Year!!

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