When making healthy changes to our diet, it can take time to know where to start. Nutrition advice can be confusing, overwhelming, and downright conflicting based on where and whom you heard it from. Rest easy, as one of your Hy-Vee Dietitians compiled a list of her top tips for making changes toward a healthier lifestyle. Let’s dive in!
- Count Colors, Not Calories –Rather than depriving yourself of all your favorite foods or focusing on maintaining a calorie deficit to shed some weight, start counting the colors you see on your plate. Have you noticed how brown, beige, or dull your meals look? By adding various colors, you’re adding more nutrients, and your meals become more balanced. This simple, no-fuss method can fuel weight loss and improve overall health. Why? The most colorful foods contain some of the best-for-you vitamins and minerals.
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- Start Small – Lose the all-or-nothing mentality. The minute we throw out every harsh “food rule” we’ve heard in the past, the more we can focus on a realistic, long-term approach. Start with one area of the day you’d like to focus on – eating breakfast, for example. Homing in on one thing – and one thing only - can prevent us from becoming overwhelmed. Once we succeed at a focused area, set another small goal you’d like to achieve and continue to build on those healthier habits. Over a few months, you’ll see how far you’ve come with this baby-step approach.
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- Focus on Adding, Not Eliminating – No sweets, carbs, or fruit = no fun! Instead of this negative mindset regarding meals and snacks, try flipping the script – what canI add to my day? How can I add a veggie to my lunch? What protein can I add to my mid-day snack to keep me satisfied? Which carb can I add to dinner to ensure my meal is complete? Switching the narrative from subtracting to adding will make your meals balanced and your mind more positive, too!
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- Don’t Forget about Fluids – Aka, water, that is! Water plays a vital role in our body, and our hydration status can impact our hearts, brain, mood, skin, and joints – and it’s free! How much, you ask? While there are guidelines to predict how much we should knock back, monitoring your urine output is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough water. If it’s dark yellow, it’s time to drink up. You’re looking for a pale, light yellow hue.
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- Make meal Planning a Priority – Here me out on this one, as I truly believe the foundation of a healthy diet starts with a plan. This does not mean spending all day in the kitchen prepping your meals for the week (however, this does work for some people). Without a plan of action, it’s easier to default to take-out.
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Our diets could all use a slight improvement. Find out what changes you can make today to set you up for success tomorrow. Remember – if a diet, “food rule,” or nutrition advice seems too good to be true (or frankly unsustainable) – it probably is, and you can call in the professionals (aka – your Hy-Vee Dietitians!)
Connect with your local Hy-Vee dietitian on our virtual nutrition services platform. To learn more, head to https://www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/default.aspx and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with a Hy-Vee dietitian. We offer various services to help you meet your weight loss goals, including one-on-one consultation packages, personalized menu plan programs, virtual nutrition store tours and more.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.