- Eat breakfast: start each morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, and fruits or vegetables. For example, my go-to breakfast is 3 eggs scrambled with spinach and red pepper, and one serving of oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder and a little sugar-free maple syrup.
- Half-Plate Rule: make at least half your plate fruits and vegetables. These add color, texture, and flavor, plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your plate. Try as many new veggies as you can, and experiment with different types such as fresh, frozen, and canned
- Watch Portion Sizes: use measuring cups…I know, I know, who has time for that right? Well, you’d be surprised at how quickly you learn to eyeball it. Use the measuring cups for a few weeks and get used to eating the right portion size. You can also use your hand to approximate portion sizes: thumb = one tablespoon; palm = three ounces; fist = one cup; and cupped hand = half cup
- Be Active: aim for about 2.5 hours of exercise per week. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym. There are many ways to be active, including walking the dog, playing basketball, or going to a dance class!
- Make Healthy Snacks: the things you reach for when you’re hungry can really make an impact on your diet. Healthy snacks are important for sustaining energy levels between meals. You want to shoot for a combination of foods, such as bananas with peanut butter, raw veggies with hummus, yogurt with fruit, or homemade trail mix. I usually recommend 2-3 snacks per day for my clients!
- Explore New Foods and Flavors: people always ask me if I get bored eating the same things all the time. Well, I don’t eat the same things! I use different spices and marinades to keep it interesting so I don’t get bored. I also try new combinations of veggies or cook them in a new, different way. When you’re shopping for the week, select new foods, flavorings, and spices to add more pleasure to eating healthy foods.
World Sleep Day also happens this month…keep an eye out for a blog about sleep and fat loss next week!
For more information about National Nutrition Month, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at http://www.eatright.org/