You can start by choosing one of these smart nutrition resolutions to kickstart your 2018:
Keeping a food log can provide great insight into various aspects of your eating habits. Tracking your food holds you accountable and can make you more conscious of portion sizes. Keeping a log of your food can make you think twice before taking that extra bite of your daughter’s macaroni and cheese. This can help open your mind to sneaky extra calories you may have been consuming throughout the day. Some great food tracking apps include My Fitness Pal and MyPlate Calorie Tracker.
Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet? Most of us can benefit from an extra couple of servings throughout the day. The 5-A-Day for Better Health Program is a nationwide campaign to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to at least five servings a day. Someone who needs 2000 calories a day should consume about two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily. Try to get a wide variety of colors from your fruits and vegetables for a plethora of antioxidants.
Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body requires water to function. Not only is hydration important for weight management, but it’s essential for good health. A quick estimate of your daily hydration is simply drinking half of your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 140lbs, aim for around 70 ounces of water daily. If this is a big jump, incorporate an extra four cups of water (two in the morning, two after work), daily to help reach your hydration goals.
Artificial sweeteners are far more potent than regular table sugar; a small amount of aspartame for example provides a very sweet taste when compared to the same amount of sugar. Frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners can overstimulate our sugar receptors. Try to cut out artificial sweeteners from your diet, and use a small amount of the real thing on occasion.
Have you ever heard of probiotics? Probiotics are live “good” bacteria that can help restore the composition of the gut microbiome, which is crucial to our general health and digestion. Research on probiotics has shown that they can boost immunity, manage gastrointestinal symptoms, and even assist in weight management. Incorporate more fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and tempeh to reap the probiotic benefits.
Remember that challenges and slip-ups will happen; what matters most is that you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Honor your integrity to yourself and stick with your commitments. Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year.
Stefani Pappas, MS, RDN, CDN, CPT, is a Clinical Dietitian Nutritionist at St. Francis Hospital. She also provides private and group nutrition counseling at her office in Great Neck. Visit her website www.StefHealthTips.com for more information or call 516-225-1745 to schedule an appointment.