Have a happy and healthy New Year with these tips!
1. Boost your day with breakfast. Eating within 2 hours of when you wake up will jumpstart your metabolism and fuel your body for an energized start to the day!
2. Pump up the protein in the A.M. Our bodies digest protein slowly, helping us fight that dreaded mid morning hunger. Great sources of protein include eggs (alternate eggs and egg whites if you wish), 1 tablespoon of peanut butter added to oatmeal or toast, and low fat yogurt.
3. Pack in produce. Adding more fruits and veggies will give you essential nutrients that can boost your immunity—this is crucial during flu season!
4. Keep a food diary. Try writing down what you eat and your level of hunger when you eat to help you become more in tune with your eating habits. No need to do this every day- then it becomes a chore and maybe even an obsession! Aim to keep a log 3 or 4 days out of the week.
5. Perfect your portions. It is challenging to stick to the proper serving size of many foods, but a few visual aids may help. A serving size of pasta is ½ cup, or ½ of a fist. A serving of meat is 3oz which looks like a deck of cards.
6. Slow down. Have you ever actually realized how good food can taste?! Many times we eat to satisfy our hunger, but it takes roughly 15-20 minutes for our stomach to signal to our brain that we are full! Slowing down while eating will help you become satisfied without overeating. and make meal time a quite enjoyable experience.
7. Eat often. When we wait too long to eat, our metabolism slows down and has a hard time starting back up again. Eating ever 3-4 hours will keep our metabolism running at a steady pace!
8. Say ‘yes’ to snacks. Snacking is highly encouraged, going along with number 7! Healthy snack ideas include: 94% fat free popcorn with added seasonings such as garlic salt, pizza spices, or cinnamon, frozen grapes (about 8 grapes will be 60 calories), and low fat string cheese with a few crackers.
9. Make your plate a MyPlate. A healthy diet is all about balance. Using the MyPlate guidelines is the perfect way to achieve that balance we all need in our lives! For a single meal, half of your plate should be fruits and veggies, one quarter should be a lean protein, and the last quarter should be a grain (make at least half of your grains whole!). Add a glass of milk on the side and there you have it- the perfect plate!