The new year brings about many resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight and be more physically active. If you are unsure where to start, here are a few tips to get you started on your journey to better health and wellness.

Write! Writing down what you eat forces you to be aware of how much you are actually eating. If you know you have to record the piece of candy or third slice of pizza, you may decide not to eat it.

Keeping a food journal may also cut down on mindless eating, “trigger” foods and binge eating situations.

With a journal, you can easily keep track of exercise and review this food diary with a dietitian. Online food journals also work very well.

Eat breakfast each morning! Skipping breakfast omits calories essential to starting the body’s engine. Studies show people who eat breakfast reduce their chances of overeating during the day and weigh less than those skipping breakfast.

On the go? Try a whole what waffle with natural peanut butter, oatmeal with a handful of almonds or a fruit smoothie.

Trim portion sizes and cut calories! Cut back on portions at each meal and know the appropriate serving sizes at meal time. If you do not already know, determine how many calories you eat in a typical day (use a food journal!).

Next, set a reduced-calorie goal; keep in mind the goal is to lose weight at a healthy rate.

Lose weight slowly! Slow weight loss, defined as 1-2 pounds per week, is crucial to success.

Quick weight loss is more apt to result in regain, leading to “yo-yo” dieting which ultimately has a negative impact on your long term physical and emotional health, not to mention your metabolism.

Fuel your body! The human body requires food about every three hours. Set a goal to eat three “main” meals along with a few small snacks in between to keep your body’s metabolism fired up.

Small snacks in between meals will curb your appetite and likely keep you from overeating at meal time.

Snacks should include a lean protein and complex carbohydrate such as a handful of almonds and fruit or a light cheese stick and whole grain crackers.

Plan and prepare! Keep healthy goods on hand including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat dairy, lean meats and nuts.

Having the correct, healthy foods at home will encourage healthy eating habits and limit resorting to junk food.

Plan meals in advance and make a shopping list so you can eat more meals at home.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at

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