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How To Stick To Your Healthy Eating Resolution

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All carbohydrates are not created equal.

It's now been a few weeks since we have made our New Year's resolutions to eat better and finally lose those last five pounds or more. It's time to check in and see if you've set yourself up for success this year. Brittany Glassett, registered dietitian at Porter Adventist Hospital has a few tips to keep in mind when setting - and keeping - new goals. - Make SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. For example, instead of resolving to "eat better," make a goal to eat fast food less than three times per month.

- Write goals down and choose one or two to focus on at a time. Don't get overwhelmed; once you've incorporated one or two changes into your lifestyle, pick another goal to tackle. Remember, it takes about three weeks to establish a new habit.

- Break your goal down into mini-goals. If you want to lose 50 pounds, that's a pretty big feat and can seem impossible at times. Start with a mini-goal of losing 5 pounds in the next month.

- Get support. Tell family and friends about your goal to help keep you accountable when temptation arises. Better yet, get them on the fast track to being healthy also!

- Plan ahead. Plan all of your meals and go to the grocery store on Sunday. That way you won't get home from work with nothing to eat but delivery pizza. Also, schedule your workouts just as you would any other meeting.

Six Small Changes That Make a Big Difference:

  1. 1. Choose more whole grains. All carbohydrates are not created equal. Unlike refined carbohydrates (white bread, sweets), whole grains contain heart healthy fiber and many vitamins and minerals. The fiber will keep you full between meals to help with weight management goals.
  2. 2. Add more color to your plate. Some of the most colorful foods are antioxidant packed fruits and vegetables. Try to have at least three different colors on your plate (white, cream and yellow don't count!). Make a goal to try a new fruit or vegetable every month.
  3. 3. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating small, regular meals (every three to four hours) will keep hunger at bay and help you to make better choices at meal times.
  4. 4. Don't drink your calories. Soda, juice and high calorie coffee drinks contain "empty calories" - they provide excessive amounts of calories without providing much, if any, nutrition.
  5. 5. Replace vegetable oil with canola oil and olive oil in your kitchen. Olive oil and canola oil contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats whereas vegetable oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat, which are eaten in excess in the typical American diet. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body, which is associated with many disease states including heart disease.
  6. 6. Keep a food diary. Even if it's for one or two days a week, studies have shown that those who have lost weight and maintained it keep food journals. It really can be an eye-opener!


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