Healthy Eating Tips to Kickoff 2021
Every New Year weight-loss and eating healthy goals top our resolution list but often that initial energy fizzles out.
The biggest challenges to maintaining these goals are getting started and staying motivated through the tough times. Catholic Health’s St. Joseph Hospital’s Diabetes Education Director and Registered Dietician Alysa Ferguson explained that people starting a weight-loss regimen should answer a simple question, “Why?”
“Setting goals and having a clear understanding of why you want to make changes in your diet is very important,” she said. “I suggest writing down what your goals are so you can see them daily. Use positive and empowering language to help provide motivation.”
Ferguson addressed several key questions related to weight-loss and improved eating habits.
Q: What are common pitfalls people should avoid?
A: Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is. No pill or five-minute workout plan can melt pounds away.
Q: Should you consult a doctor before beginning a weight-loss program?
A: Checking with your doctor is always a good idea. But typically it isn’t necessary for most healthy individuals who follow an appropriate, sound and modest weight-loss program.
Q: From a nutritional standpoint, what types of food should people look to eat more?
A: There are many types of food that are part of a healthy diet. These include high fiber vegetables and fruits, legumes, and small portions of whole grains and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butters and healthy oils. It is also important to include lean proteins such as eggs or egg whites, seafood and skinless poultry. Water should be the primary beverage consumed, but others such as unsweetened coffee and tea or flavored waters can provide some variety.
Q. What foods should people look to reduce or eliminate from their diet?
A. Topping the list are sugary drinks, sweets and junk food. While any food can fit into a meal plan in small portions on a special occasion, when you want to lose weight eating foods or consuming beverages that fall into these three categories goes against the goals of eating healthy and losing weight.
Q. When looking to lose weight many try popular diet plans. Is this a good idea?
A. In general, diets don't typically work for long-term success. They are often too strict to maintain. But some programs have built-in flexibility and support, so those are better options than the more extreme plans.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice for someone who is starting a weight-loss regimen?
A. Pick a few changes you can live with and start with those. It's not easy to lose weight and keep it off, but it is truly worth the effort. You will feel better and your health will improve. Don't be afraid to ask for support.
Information on healthy living programs offered by Catholic Health such as Diabetes Education may be obtained by calling 1(855) 247-4500 or visiting chsli.org. Healthy recipes are also available at chsli.org/recipes-healthy-living.