For a Healthier You in 2011: Real-life, Nutritionist-approved Tips for Eating Right

How is your New Year’s resolution of eating healthier or shredding weight going..? I still can’t resist dessert every day, but I’m working on it. Oddly enough we have indulged on eating out more than normally this month, yet I have been able to fit in my smallest jeans just fine, even with the Holidays behind us. I haven’t had time to visit the gym that I joined a few months ago (I will on Sunday, I promise), but I have tried eating healthier and we’ve had several soup days this month. And thanks to all this snow – I have been skiing and found muscles in my body that didn’t remember they existed (they are all sore now). One thing that I have been better is actually not skipping a meal, and I’m talking about breakfast, and it really does prevent me from afternoon hunger attack and eating too much dinner. I guess my problem really isn’t not knowing what’s healthy, but actually living healthy and doing what I know is right. I wanted to get some real advice how to make eating healthy work for our busy lives and nutritionist-approved tips for eating right and Maggie Moon MS, RD, Corporate Nutritionist for FreshDirect who writes for Today’s Dietitian came to the rescue. She has a round-up of practical, real-life strategies that work but she also reminds that the only true expert in you and your family is you, so take these tips and see which ones will fit in your lifestyle.

1. Be a Food Snob

When it comes to indulgences, be a food snob! This trick means that you still get to eat your most favorite decadent foods, but it’ll also keep you away from the more mundane plates of cookies that make the office rounds, for example.

2. Eat breakfast

Eat breakfast, no matter what. Our bodies run better when we jumpstart metabolism in the mornings with a well-balanced breakfast. Plus, we know that people who lose and keep weight off tend to be breakfast-eaters! Making time for a balanced meal is nice, but nobody’s perfect. I think it’s key to get into the habit of eating breakfast at all, even if it’s a bite of last night’s dinner or half a granola bar every once in awhile (nobody’s perfect every day).

3.Stock up on healthy foods

Stay stocked up on the good stuff: Easy access is everything. Keeping healthy foods around is practically a no-brainer! If it’s easy and available, you’ll be more likely to choose healthier foods. In addition to keeping fresh foods in the refrigerator, there are plenty of canned, frozen, and dry goods that are easy to keep on hand for a rainy day (this is especially useful when the good old “but we have no food in the house, we have to order out” syndrome). Good picsk: frozen veggies, lower sodium canned soups/broths, whole grain crackers, no-sugar-added tomato sauces, almond milk, boxed 100% juices, and more.

4. Pantry Makeover

Be OK with throwing away unhealthful foods – the cost to your health isn’t worth keeping it. Just remember once you toss it, don’t buy it again either.

5. Be Realistic

Decide what you can realistically give up, and work with what you can’t. If you love breakfast sandwiches from the greasy-spoon shop around the corner and have it delivered every morning, you might feel guilty about both the sandwich and the daily delivery. Instead of stocking your fridge full of healthier stuff to make your own each morning (a not impossible, but somewhat lofty goal if you’re not used to it), you admit that the time and convenience are not worth giving up. Your solution: go ahead and keep ordering your breakfast everyday, just pick a lighter one!

6. Smarter dinner

Start meals by filling your plate with Veggies. Choose fun, colorful vegetables to add to your diet. Enjoy a warm soup at least once or twice a week during the winter as an easy way to enjoy the fiber-rich legumes you know you should be eating.

7. Smart snacking

Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table to have easy access to a fresh grab-and-go snack. Stash some nuts in the office and in your bag to always have a whole-food snack to turn to. Whenever possible, choose water over soda or sugary drinks to avoid drinking your calories.

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