Want to Get Healthy in 2019? The Milk Means More Experts Can Help
It’s January and that means the gyms are full, new home exercise equipment is actually being used instead of gathering dust and “#diet” is trending all over social media. Even though living a healthy life is important all year long, it’s inevitable that people focus on it a little more at certain times of the year.
If you are one of the many people focusing on your health this month, we’ve got great tips from our wellness experts here at Milk Means More. Our staff includes registered dietitian nutritionists, a public health expert, a former athletic trainer/ physical education teacher and sports nutrition experts. Here is some of their best pieces of advice for a healthier new you.
Sharon Toth, MPH, RDN, Chief Executive Officer
Pay attention to what you’re eating when you are eating it. Enjoy an indulgent food now and then, but make sure when you eat it, you are “in the moment” and not just eating it mindlessly. In other words – make it count!
Emily Mattern, RDN, Youth Wellness Manager
There is not one single food you can eat that will make you healthy or prevent you from getting a disease. We need to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups. Different foods within each food group provide the nutrition needed to be healthy and strong. We need them all. Most Americans do not eat the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables or dairy. Focusing on increasing consumption in those groups is a good idea.
Kathi Eckler, RDN, Chief Marketing Officer
Get 7-8 hours of sleep. When you are rested, you make better choices about food and exercise!
Cortney Freeland, MPH, CHES, Nutrition Outreach Manager
Make good choices! Small steps lead to big changes. Pizza night? Have one slice of pizza and round out the meal with a glass of milk and piece of fruit. Catered lunch? Share a cookie with a co-worker. Dining out? Split your meal with a loved one or ask for a to-go container when your meal arrives so you won’t be tempted to eat everything. Bonus: you have lunch the next day!
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Don’t restrict yourself from your favorite foods. Everything in moderation. If you have a tough day in the eating department, it’s okay. Get in a good workout, clear your mind and start fresh – tomorrow is a new day!
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, Sports Nutritionist
There is a myth that goes something like this: “Carbs make us fat and in order to lose weight I must follow a low carb diet.” Carbs do not make us fat, but too many calories can lead to weight gain and increase risk for obesity. Research shows that following a low carb diet is not superior for fat loss. To lose weight a calorie deficit needs to be created by consuming fewer calories than your body burns or burning more calories than you consume with exercise. I advise people to work with a registered dietitian who can develop a well-balanced nutrition plan that is based on individual preferences and eating patterns to help meet their weight loss goals. Establishing lifelong healthy habits that are realistic are key to maintaining weight loss and overall health!
Brianna Banka, MS, RDN, School Wellness Manager
Listen to your body. Our bodies are amazing and we should listen to them! Key into your body cues. When your stomach starts to growl, welcome the hunger and eat instead of resisting. Eat slowly and mindfully so you can feel a comfortable, full feeling coming on. If you are really listening and in tune with your body, it will let you know when enough is enough.
Janice Jackson, MS, RDN, Director of Nutrition Marketing
If the first bite of something doesn’t taste as good as it looks, I stop eating it. Yes, even cookies. Especially cookies. I live by the mantra that ‘you will never regret making the healthier choice.’ To that end, any liquid calories I take in have to treat my body right, like lattes and smoothies. The lattes for my caffeine fix, and the smoothies, because, let’s admit, its pureed fruit salad. And, the dairy adds all-important protein and calcium.
Sarah Woodside, MS, RDN, Nutrition Communications Manager
Read the food label, especially the size and number of servings. It can be easy to eat an entire package of something and not realize it contained two or three or more servings. Even if you still decide to eat those servings, by reading the nutrition label, you know how many calories you ate and can make adjustments in what else you eat during the day.
Tina Miller, MS RDN FAND, Nutrition Outreach Manager
Take a common-sense approach to eating. Real foods provide real nutrition and enjoyment. My take away is “the closer to nature, the healthier the food.” Simple. Real dairy, real produce (fresh, frozen or canned), nuts that you can crunch, legumes/beans and moderate amounts of protein including lean meat, poultry and fish.
Melissa Gerharter, MS RDN, CSSD, Executive Director of Youth Wellness Programs
Be kind to your body! Don’t view exercise as punishment for overindulging but rather a privilege that you are able to exercise. Make yourself a priority and schedule in time to exercise and fuel yourself properly, every day. Remember, the best plan for you is the one you can stick with!
Amiee Vondrasek, Youth Wellness Manager
If you can’t get outside during the cold days of winter, create an obstacle course in the house to get the family moving. Add some music to keep it fun for everyone.
Looking for recipes to help you achieve your wellness goals? Read our roundup of Better For You recipes here.