Mother and daughter preparing fruit for snack time

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Are you trying to reach your health goals but not sure how to do it? Many online influencers, magazines — and even some friends — promote diets that claim to be healthy. However, they might only produce short-term results rather than long-term health benefits — and may even be harmful.

If you want to reach your health goals and get long-term results, aim for making the following six changes that are realistic and achievable:

  1. Eat your protein. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential to good health. It helps you build strength and muscle and recover from injury. Protein also helps you feel full, which can aid in weight loss.
  2. Don’t skip carbs. Carbohydrates are the brain’s primary source of fuel and are an important part of a balanced diet. Try to include at least three servings per day, choose whole-grain carbohydrate sources and follow portion-size recommendations.
  3. Add more fruits and vegetables to increase fiber and fullness. Covering half of your plate in fruits and veggies will help you increase your fiber intake, which will increase your fullness, keep you feeling satisfied for longer, help you lose weight, and aid in achieving a more balanced diet.
  4. Eat five to six small meals or snacks daily. Add two to three snacks between your three primary meals, which should be a combination of a carbohydrate, fruit or veggie, and a protein. This will increase fullness and you will be more likely to have smaller portions at mealtime.
  5. Make it easy. Have snacks that are easy to prepare or ready to go, such as a banana and peanut butter, or an apple with string cheese. And if you don’t have time to prepare meals each day, cook several servings of a dish on Sunday and eat it for lunch the rest of the week.
  6. Make one change at a time. If you focus on too many diet and lifestyle changes at the same time, it can be difficult to keep up with them all. Focus on one small change at a time, master that by making it into a new habit, then pick your next small change.

If you have questions or concerns about your diet or overall health, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist. Together, you can come up with a plan to meet your unique needs.

The VEBA Resource Center offers many Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join us to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.