Pomerene Hospital Blog
Live Better. Be Healthier.
“Life Style Change.” Have you heard these words before? The new trend in nutrition is to eliminate words such as “diet” or “stop eating.” The new nutrition approach focuses more on getting rid of poor eating habits and replacing them with better and healthier habits. However it does not stop there, physical activity plays a major role in your “Life Style Change”.
Life style change is important whether you are a healthy person trying to make better food choices or you have been diagnosed with a condition that requires changing your eating and exercising habits. Many people want to start, but do not know where to begin.
Here are some helpful tips:
1. Keep a Food Journal. write down what you eat each day, including how much you eat and when. Often, we are not aware of the amount of food, how often or how little food we eat. A food Journal may help you be mindful about your food choices and portion size.
2. Eat Your Calories. Don't Drink Them. Juices and sugary drinks are usually high in calories and low in nutrition value. For example, 1 cup of orange juice requires 2-4 oranges, but takes only a few minutes to drink, often leaving you hungry. However, if you eat 1 orange you will feel full for a longer period of time.
3. Read The Nutrition Facts Label. Start with the serving size and the quantity of calories. Choose food that is low in fat (especially saturated and Trans fats) and also low in salt. Choose food that is high in fiber and protein. Follow the recommendations of your physician for specific diseases (diabetes, Heart disease, etc.).
4. Choose Whole Grains. Such as whole wheat, bread, rolls, quinoa or pasta made from whole grains; brown or wild rice; hot or cold cereals made from whole grains (without added sugar).
5. Eat More Fruits & Veggies. Choose fresh, frozen or canned either packed in water, no added sugar or low salt. Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season, they are more fresh, healthier and cheaper!
6. Choose Healthier Protein Items. Choose lean meat, skinless chicken, fish or seafood. You can bake, grill, broil however do not fry! Fried food is higher in unhealthy fat (saturated and Trans fat).
7. Dairy Products. Choose low fat options such as skim milk or 1% or 2%. Try new items such as Greek yogurt, it has 9-14 grams of protein and it makes a great snack with some berries on the side.
8. Exercise. Set a goal, even if it is 10 minutes a day! Meet with an exercise specialist, he/she will help develop a realistic exercise plan and personal goals. Plan family activities that include outdoor and physical activities.
9. Talk To A Dietitian. A dietitian will help develop an individualized plan, outline specific life changes that should be made as well as help set personal eating goals.
Remember, “Life Style Change” can start with replacing one bad habit with a healthier habit, so don't be afraid to start!
Blog Written By: Dima Hassan, Dietary Service Manager/Clinical Dietitian