Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD
When it comes to building healthy habits, there always seems to be a challenge we must overcome. Whether it’s hunger, lack of will power or simply not having enough time, making the right choices can be difficult.
The good news is a “healthy balance” approach can help you achieve measurable results through small, gradual changes in your eating and exercise routines. Here are a few simple (no sweat) steps to get you started!
- Build a healthy base.
Choose a variety of nutritious foods. Aim to include foods from each food group into all your meals. For example, include fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and dairy products, beans and lean meats as well as whole and enriched grain foods like breads and cereals (knowing from time to time it’s okay surprise your family with a treat!). Eating a variety of foods (of different colors) is the easiest way to ensure a well-balanced diet.
- Feed your brain.
Your brain relies on a variety of foods for energy to function properly. The greater variety of foods you eat, the better your chances of maintaining brain health.
- Keep your family meals.
Eat at least three meals a day in a calm and relaxed environment. It is very important to experience your food, concentrating on the taste, flavor and texture in order to make your meals more satisfying and memorable. And remember, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day! Having breakfast ensures your body gets the nutrients it needs and can actually boost your metabolism; it also boosts your energy levels for what the day has in store.
- Be sensible about your portions.
Stop depriving yourself and practice moderation.
- Take time to turn your everyday activities into a powerful workout.
You burn calories with every step you take and everyday activities count towards your total activity. For example, washing your car by hand, cleaning the house, doing laundry and carrying groceries can all help you stay healthy without even setting foot in the gym. When you move, you are not only burning calories, but you are also helping your body to work more efficiently. So get creative and stay active!