Simple tips for a healthier you

Easy advice to make you feel great

Contributed by Angela Fitch, MD

sb10062327am-001We know becoming healthier and happier, happens one step at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by choices, bogged down by details or derailed by a bad day. That’s why we’re committed to helping you stay on the path that will get you to your health goals — whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more or whatever speaks to you.

One constant theme I often hear is how to get started. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind to help guide your choices throughout each day.

  1. Avoid fad diets. I have a rule of thumb: The faster you take weight off, the faster you’ll put it back on if you are not able to stick to the changes you have made. Losing weight is a slow, steady march where the basics will always be true: eat planned portions of plants and protein and consistently increase your daily activity.
  2. Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The CDC found that Ohioans eat an average of 1.5 servings –nowhere close to where we should be! Confused about what a serving is? It’s generally one cup of fruit or vegetables. ChooseMyPlate.gov is an excellent resource from the USDA on recommended nutrition and serving size.  They also have a tracking tool you can use to make sure you are staying on track.
  3. Eat 2-3 servings of dairy each day. Dairy provides us with the potassium, calcium and magnesium we need to stay healthy and strong. One serving could be a cup of (skim) milk, a container of yogurt or 1 ½ cups of low-fat or fat- free ice cream.
  4. Know your fiber. Soluble fiber can slow digestion, making you feel full sooner and aid in weight loss. Sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, apples, strawberries, nuts, and many others. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion and moves food through your body to avoid constipation. Good sources of insoluble fiber include leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and others.
  5. Be smart about fats. There are three types of fats: saturated (unhealthy), trans fat (unhealthy) and unsaturated fat (healthy). You should eat 3-5 servings of healthy fats in a week, such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, flaxseed or soybean oils.
  6. Get moving. Even if you follow healthy eating habits to a T, you’re only halfway to a healthier you. Exercise is an important part of getting, and staying healthy. So grab a friend, lace up some walking shoes and enjoy the warm weather we’re finally having!  Consider getting a pedometer or use a mobile pedometer app on your phone and set a goal to increase your steps by 100 steps each day until you get to the goal of 10,000 a day.

Getting and staying healthy is a team effort. Enlist your friends, family members and us to stay motivated, answer questions and keep you on your path. We’re here to help you be a healthier you!

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