Dietitians Dish: 12 Health Tips for the Year
January 17, 2019
OHSOGOOD® By Unidine
Read on for a health and wellness tip to try each month to help you live your best life. And just remember, any day is a good time to start something to better your health, not just at the New Year!
Time to drink up! Let’s start with water. Many people don’t drink enough fluids to properly fuel their body. Feeling thirsty is the first sign of dehydration and many people confuse the feeling of thirst with being hungry. A quick way to determine how much water to drink is to take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half – this will give you the total ounces of fluid you should aim to drink daily. Example: 160 lbs ÷ 2 = 80 ounces or 10 cups is the goal.
February: Get Moving
Make it your goal to move every single day. By now, everyone knows that regular movement and exercise is important to a healthy body but who has the time! If you are starting from zero be sure to set a realistic goal, such as 10 minutes daily. Do this every day and slowly increase to at least 30 minutes daily.
March: Veg it up!
Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Veggies are packed with beneficial nutrients and fiber that are great for your overall health. Many of us eat fewer than what is recommended. Choose color and start there. For example, have 2 servings of green vegetables every single day and stick to this pattern until you have more colors and more servings.
April: Don’t skip breakfast
Kickstart your day with an energizing meal. If you are a loyal breakfast eater already – congratulations! Decide on 2 to 3 breakfast options that will become automatic for you to make at home or grab on the go. Make sure to include high fiber and protein rich sources for energy, and blood sugar management. Take all the guesswork out of it and keep it simple! Examples: Bowl of oatmeal with scoop of natural peanut butter and 1/2 banana or a 2 egg veggie omelet with whole grain toast.
May: Consume less meat
Give it a shot this month and treat meat dishes as a special treat. Try eating less meat this month, especially beef. Red meat is associated with poor health outcomes. Beef production is also known to be a very poor animal protein choice when it comes to creating a sustainable planet.
Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual for the month and see how you feel. Most people need an average 8 hours per day. Studies show getting too much or too little of sleep can affect your health, your mood, and your weight. This month start a bedtime ritual, such as reading, having a cup of chamomile tea, and avoiding your TV and phone.
July: Pump it up!
Start with basic body weight exercises to wake up those muscles. Strength training is great for strong bones, a high functioning metabolism and weight control. If lifting weights is new to you then it is best to consult a professional before you get started. Aim for 2 times weekly.
August: Fill up on fruit
Aim to eat all the colors of the rainbow. Summer is an excellent time to eat more seasonal fresh fruit. Frozen fruit without any added sugar is a great option when fresh isn’t available. Add fresh fruit to salads, cereals, or add as a part of a healthy snack.
September: Healthy fats
Choose healthy fats every single day. You didn’t read that wrong – every – single – day! Fat is essential for many functions of our body and helps you feel full as part of a healthy meal. Recommended sources are unsaturated fats like salmon, tuna, olive oil, almonds, and avocado.
October: Prioritize plants
Include more plant based proteins. Fruits and vegetables have hopefully become staples at this point…add legumes to your meals as a protein source in place of meat and poultry. Legumes include lentils, chickpeas, kidney and black beans. You can start by mixing legumes with animal proteins to gradually make some meals vegetarian.
November: Sugar consumption
The more you eat the more you may crave. Heading into the holiday season is a great time to take the pulse on your sugar consumption. Read all food labels and swap food items that have unnecessary sugar hiding in the ingredients with alternative choices.
December: Whole grains
Make half of your grains whole. Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients than white grains. Studies show eating whole grains is connected with a lower risk of some diseases. Nutritious choices may include 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, and steel cut oatmeal.