Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle
As you all know, 2019 has been a new and exciting year for us at All in the Family Dental Care. We are staying committed to providing first class dental care, while also working to educate our patients and the community on overall health and wellness. We will be continuing to post monthly on ways that you and your family can become healthier and improve your everyday lifestyles.
March is National Nutrition Month and we’re taking this as an opportunity to help our readers set goals, work harder to be healthier, and influence healthy change. As we begin to get a taste of the warm weather to come, it’s the perfect time to get active. You don’t need to be a professional runner to take advantage of exercising outside. Going for a light walk, doing yoga outside, walking on the beach are all great ways to improve your health. Below we’re going to list out several ways to focus on your nutrition and ways to easily make small changes in your life that can cause a big impact.
Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health
The first step to a healthy diet is becoming educated and knowledgeable about how to prepare healthy meals and snacks. The second step is figuring out a solution to incorporate those healthy changes into your diet. You can do that by surrounding yourself with good options. Fill the refrigerator and pantry with healthy snacks and plan meals ahead of time so you can avoid ordering take-out or choosing an unhealthy option. The third step is making the right decisions. This most likely will be the hardest step for many people. Training your brain to WANT the healthier options will take time. Being prepared will make all the difference in setting yourself up for great success. Once you start to incorporate small healthy changes into your diet, you will start to feel better. You’ll have more energy. You will soon be making healthy decisions because you want to, and you know it’s the best decision for your body and your life.
Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s recommended for you.
One of the major issues in America is portion sizes. The servings that we’re used to from restaurants are very often double or triple the recommended amount, which is a direct cause of obesity in our country. Choosemyplate.gov is a great resource that educates us on healthy serving sizes and how to incorporate the right kinds of foods into each meal. Below is a great resource to show us examples of appropriate serving sizes using every objects.
Incorporate healthy foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
As we learned above about proper portion sizes, it’s equally important to focus on eating the RIGHT foods. Creating a balanced diet incorporating all food groups is a major part of your nutritional make-up. Here are a few recommendations on how to bring in all of the food groups.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Focus on whole fruits
- Vary your veggies
- Make half your grains whole grains
- Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt
- Vary your protein routine
Some people may have allergies or reasons why they can’t eat certain foods, those people should work directly with a doctor or nutritionist to make sure they are still getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they need from a well balanced diet.
Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
Many people get easily overwhelmed with the idea of eating healthy. Some may think it’s too hard, or too expensive, or too complicated. We want to help you understand that it doesn’t have to be. Eating right can start by making the simplest, smallest changes. Swap out your soda or iced tea with a water – fun fact, water can also be free so you could potentially save money as well. Choose a side of veggies instead of french fries. When food shopping, fill your cart with fresh foods – fruits, vegetables, and meats. Stay away from processed and pre-packaged foods. There are also many blogs and apps that help you monitor coupons and sales at different grocery stores so you can try to save money while eating healthier. Don’t overwhelm yourself, just start by incorporating one healthy change a day, it’s that simple.
Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
Being active is just as important as eating and maintaining a healthy diet. Many people easily get discouraged or feel that they can’t “work out”. Some may feel self conscious joining a gym or may not be able to afford it. Being active doesn’t need to cost money, and doesn’t need to be an intense, long, session. Something as simple as going for a walk on the beach, or dancing while you clean the house can burn a great amount of calories. Below are a few other ideas on how to be active during a normal day.
- Park farther away from your destination
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Go for a walk on your lunch break
- Do small bursts of activity – a few jumping jacks or run in place for 2 minutes every hour
- Bike ride to a friends house or the store
- Jump rope
- Take your kids or dog for a walk
- Go on a nature hike
- Get an activity buddy – everything is more fun with a friend