Getting healthy: See diet as a plan, not a restriction

5:46 AM, Jan 09, 2019

Eating better and losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year.

But experts say that many times those who set the goals take measures that can be too extreme.

Health experts say people need to change the way they think about the word diet. See it as a plan, not a restriction.

Most people have unrealistic expectations, and they decide this is the year they’re going to completely change everything about the way they eat.

“I would say try and keep it simple. See what’s best for you and when you look at different products compare and see if they offer benefits to you and your body. So I would say do whatever works best for you and what you actually enjoy eating,” said Corpus Christi Medical Center Dietitian Karla Luna.

People should also try to limit foods that are heavily processed and high in sodium.

“I don’t really believe in bad foods or good foods. I believe there are foods you want to eat more in moderation. So every once in a while, so those fast foods maybe just here and there and just try to eat more at home where you are in control, and you are incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, more foods that you know where they are coming from and not foods that are coming from bags and packages and cans,” said Luna.

Healthy eating starts with healthy food choices. You don’t need to be a chef to create nutritious and heart-healthy meals.

“One thing we can do more of is try to be in control of our food. What that means, have fun in your kitchen and try to cook more meals at home and not eat out so often or so much,” said Luna.

When making dietary changes, start small and set a few realistic goals.

“It is not about diet, it’s about a lifestyle, and it’s about doing what works best for you. And really I encourage you all to get your annual exams done so you can see where you stand on your health report card. Because not one diet works for everyone, and it should be individualized,” said Luna.

When it comes to your health, experts say focusing on smaller changes instead can make a bigger difference in the long run.

Getting more sleep and drinking plenty of water is another way to help in your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Research proves that a healthier diet will fast-track weight loss more than increased exercise, but many people would rather hit the gym, saying exercise makes them feel more in control of their body.

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