According to Sonja Connor, registered dietitian nutritionist and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Achieving optimal health is not about a specific food or time or year, but rather a life-long commitment that leaves plenty of time for the foods and activities we love.”
To get started on a healthy lifestyle, consider these three tips that will allow you enjoy a variety of foods and activities you love.
Nutritious eating doesn’t mean giving up your favorites. By eating a smaller portion you can save calories but still have the same great taste. For example:
- Choose kid’s fries (100 calories) over large fries (500 calories) at a quick-service restaurant
- Opt for half a large bagel (130 calories) over a whole bagel (260 calories)
- Eat a 3 oz. lean sirloin steak (160 calories) instead of 6 oz. (320 calories)
Make a Simple Substitution
Try a similar food that will provide the same taste and texture but with less fat, sugar and calories.
- Substitute 4 chocolate kisses (88 calories) for large candy bar (210 calories)
- Have a light yogurt flavored with a low-cal sweetener like aspartame (130 calories) rather than a low-fat sweetened fruit yogurt (225 calories)
- Enjoy a grilled chicken breast with a spice rub (120 calories) to replace a fried one (360 calories)
Being more active to burn extra calories doesn’t mean you have to jog or sweat in a gym. There are a variety of fun activities you can do by yourself or with family and friends.
- Go dancing on the weekends
- Dance around the house to the radio or iPod
- Sign up for a yoga or zumba class or get DVDs to work out at home
- Play with your kids at the park or in the yard; walk the dog 15 minutes twice a day
So you see, a healthy lifestyle isn’t about deprivation but moderation. Go ahead, pick up your fork and enjoy yourself!
Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Dallas. She was a freelancer with Woman’s World magazine for 20 years and currently serves as a nutrition communications consultant to a variety of food and nutrition organizations, including the Calorie Control Council. She is passionate about promoting fact-based food and nutrition information to help people enjoy nutritious eating. Follow her on Twitter @NevaRDLD and check out her blog at www.NevaCochranRD.com.