Dear Dietician: Tips for reaching your 2022 food goals – Post South
| Gonzales Weekly Citizen
The New Year is upon us, and along with it come those resolutions. There is room for improvement in all our lives, right? As many as 70% of Americans will resolve to eat healthier in 2022. Others will set a goal to exercise regularly. And, of course, many will seek to lose weight.
Eating healthier is a lifestyle change; it’s as simple as that. There is no such thing as magic. There are no pills to melt fat away and no diets to trick your body into burning calories more efficiently. We have to change our habits and our thinking around food. Here are some recommendations to get you on the right track.
Eat a variety of foods. Your plate should be half filled with fruits and vegetables. Choose lean proteins, whole grains, and don’t forget low-fat dairy products to fulfill your calcium needs. Eliminate fast food, junk food, and snacks after the evening meal. Save dessert for a once-a-week treat.
Calories in, Calories out. If weight loss is your goal, you simply have to burn more calories than you consume. Keep it simple. A healthy weight loss calorie level for women is 1,500-1,800 calories a day; for men, 1,800-2,000 calories a day. These levels vary according to age, weight, and physical activity.
Create a food plan. When you have a plan, you are less likely to grab something unhealthy when hunger pangs hit. Plan your meals ahead of time and write them down. Pack a lunch for work, and plan healthy snacks. A good snack consists of protein and carbohydrates, such as an apple with one ounce of cheese or one tablespoon of peanut butter, a low-sugar Greek yogurt, or ¼ cup nuts with raisins. Keep snacks to 100-200 calories each, and have 1-2 per day.
Don’t get too hungry. This is perhaps the most important guideline. Many diets fail because they are too restrictive in calories or eliminate an entire food group. In this case, you may feel deprived, overcompensate, and find yourself bingeing on a pint of ice cream or a family-size bag of chips. You may feel like you have failed, making it difficult …….