Be realistic this New Year!

Happy 2014! New Year’s Day is one of the biggest days where we all set our year resolutions and a lot of the time these resolutions deal with weight loss. Let’s be realistic this year and set goals we know we can stick to!

START SMALL. We all want fast results, but being realistic means setting small goals and working our way up to where we want to be. Make a small, realistic goal each week to feel successful and look forward to achieving something new!

EAT MORE VEGETABLES.. AND FRUIT. By filling your plate for every meal with non-starchy vegetables and choosing to eat fruits wisely as snacks, you will be surprised how healthy you will begin to feel and might even see the weight start coming off just by switching to this simple advice! It may be extremely hard at first to get used to, but remember always start small! If you’re not used to eating vegetables at every meal, gradually introduce them into one or two of your meals and you will be surprised how fast your habits can change!

WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS. Ideally as a nutritionist, we want everyone to eat only whole grains although the recommendation is make half your grains whole grains. If you want to feel fuller longer, I suggest that you eat as many whole grains as possible when it comes to choosing a grain. This will make you feel full because of the added fiber whole grains add to our diet! And remember, our bodies don’t require that many grains to survive, so slowly start cutting back if you are a grain-lover!

PORTION OUT YOUR FOOD. This can’t be stressed enough. Although it may be a lot easier said than done, once you get into the habit of portioning your food out, your body will thank you! With all the over-sized portions out there, especially in restaurants, we have tricked our minds and bodies into thinking we need more food when we really don’t. This may be a challenge at first, but trust me, it will become a lifestyle habit.

GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED. It takes a lot to be successful if you don’t have people supporting you along the way. Find those who will support your goal and stick to it. If you need extra motivation and are lacking willpower, it’s important to find friends, family, or possibly a dietitian to help you many steps of the way!

After Exercise

After you exercise, you continue to burn more calories than if you haven’t exercised at all. The body has to return to its normal temperature, heart rate, breathing, and hormone levels. The types of food that you eat and when you eat them could maximize your after burn benefit from exercising. Here are some tips:

  • Eat breakfast, including a source of whole-grain, complex carbohydrate and lean protein. This might be a whole wheat English muffin with egg whites and a slice of low fat cheese.
  • Have a mid morning snack such as a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.
  • Eat lunch from home, again, including carbohydrates and protein.
  • Have a mid-afternoon snack with carbohydrates and protein. This might be a Greek yogurt with roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • After a workout, have a granola bar or drink 8-12 oz low-fat chocolate milk as soon as you walk in the door.
  • Fix a healthy dinner with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and one source of complex carbohydrate.

Remember to include strength training, as this encourages the use of fat as energy, increases lean tissue, and discourages the breakdown of muscle, as long as you are eating after exercise.


By: Jill Koegel

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!


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