Step by Step
Posted: January 8, 2013
Step By Step
January is the month of new goals, resolutions and promises. If holiday eating got the best of you this year or if you just want to try a little harder to be healthier and eat smarter here are seven steps to get you to a better place. When practiced daily, these simple changes will result in a 500,000 calorie savings per year. Give it a try!
1. Make a healthy plate. If you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables you can lower your calories by 300 each meal. This will result in a yearly savings of 109,500 calories. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. Make eating a rainbow of color your goal. This will guarantee you a wide variety of nutrients and flavors.
2. Choose Fruit for snacks. By replacing a snack of chips (140 calories per 1 ounce serving) with a piece of fruit (apple, 80 calories) you will save 21,900 calories per year. Get into the practice of eating seasonally. Fruit eaten in season is at its peak for flavor and nutrient value.
3. Think you drink. All beverages, with the exception of milk and 100% fruit juice (drink in moderation) contain empty calories. Choose calorie free beverages instead of soda or other sweetened beverages. Save 150 calories per 12 ounce can of soda, resulting in a 54,750 calorie savings per year. Stay well hydrated throughout the day. If you wait to feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated.
4. Engage in 30 minutes of exercise per day. Be active every day. A 30 minute walk covering about 2 miles will burn 200 calories per day or 73,000 per year. Get an exercise companion- your best friend, a dog, etc. Research has found that those who exercise with a friend are more apt to stick with their exercise routine. Plus it’s more fun!
5. Downsize your desserts. A typical bakery sized treat will cost you about 500 calories. Downsizing to a finger sized cookie will reduce your calories to 350 or 127,500 calories per year. If you enjoy sweet treats make them yourself. Research has found that if you make desserts at home you tend to eat them less often and you can control the sugar and fat content by selecting slightly healthier recipes.
6. Eat a healthy breakfast each day. Eating oatmeal instead of a pastry, bagel or fast food sandwich will save you 180 calories per day or 65,700 per year. Many Americans skip breakfast, for a variety of reasons. Plan to have some quick breakfast items that you can eat on the go. Cartons of low fat yogurt, hard boiled eggs, low fat granola bars all make quick “grab and go” breakfast.
7. Choose skim milk. By drinking skim milk you will save 47 calories per cup or 150 calories per day. In a year’s time you save 51,965 calories. Make it your goal to consume 2-3 cups of milk each day. Your bones and teeth will thank you for it!
If you can make some of these dietary changes and stick with them every day for the course of a year, you will find that you will lose weight without much effort. Improving your overall health, reducing saturated fats and added sugars, increasing your daily activity and reducing your sodium intake are all a part of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for healthy Americans. By adopting these 7 simple steps you can feel and look better, inside and out!
For more helpful tips on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate see the following websites.
This article was adapted by a poster published by Food and Health, titled “7 Simple Steps”