Life

6 (Easy) Healthy Menu Makeovers

Are you looking to improve your diet, but feel sidetracked by fast food, sweet drinks and unhealthy snacks? The key to successful behavioral change is to start small and work up to your long-term goals.

Here are tips to help you find ways around your nutritional barriers:

6 Menu Makeovers

1. Sweet tooth – Try cutting back on portions and frequency. Choose more fruits – at least two per day.

2. Veggie hater – Which veggies do you like? First focus on increasing your intake of the ones you like. The goal is to make sure you have a vegetable at both lunch and dinner. A side salad is a great starting point.

3. Breakfast skipper – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many people don’t feel hungry in the morning so they skip breakfast; but your body needs fuel. Train your body to want breakfast. Start by having something small, like a banana, glass of low-fat milk, slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, or a low-fat yogurt.

4. Soda/juice drinker – Cut the number of sodas or other calorie-rich beverages you drink per day or per week in half. Keep a water bottle handy to sip throughout the day. If you find water to be too plain, your taste buds need training. Drinking ice-cold water or water with lemon can help make it more enjoyable.

5. Meal skipper – Make an effort to eat a healthy snack or meal every 3-4 hours.

6. Mindless eater – Keeping a food log really helps bring awareness to everything you eat. There are some great apps for smart phones that make logging easy.

And remember to exercise.  The goal is to get your body in motion. Focus on making sure your body moves more than the few steps you take to get to the bathroom at work and at home. If you are on your feet at work, that’s great; but in order to see weight loss, you have to do more than you normally do on a daily basis.

About the author
natalie-castro-204x300Natalie Castro is the Chief Wellness Dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Florida International University. She completed her master’s degree in nutrition and exercise science at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo. Ms. Castro is certified in adult weight management and works passionately to improve the health of both adults and children. Her clinical experience includes working with patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders and critically ill patients in intensive care. In addition, she has conducted research on eating behaviors and pediatric obesity. Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals.

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