By Airman 1st Class Kevin Sommer Giron
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Food—it’s one of the main ways people connect during the holidays. And though it’s popular to “eat, drink and be merry,” soon the bittersweet cost of that third slice of apple pie comes to haunt like the ghost of Christmas past.
As the New Year is welcomed, many make a conscious effort to watch what they eat and live a healthier lifestyle. Here are some tips by Jeff Vaughn, 19th Aerospace Medical Squadron Health and Wellness Center, to help achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
Commitment and consistency is key to losing weight and keeping it off. Start with food restrictions on yourself like 30 days of no bread or pasta and add new rules as you’re ready for a new challenge.
Don’t drink your calories. Drink plenty of water or other sugar-free beverages, like unsweetened tea or black coffee. Need new ideas to drink more water? Add fresh mint and a few chopped strawberries to the bottom of your water pitcher, or slices of fresh lemon and ginger root. Say “no” to sugary beverages like soda and juice.
Add two or three servings of vegetables to every meal. Stick with brightly colored non-starchy veggies. These veggies are naturally low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sodium and high fiber to help you fill up without eating too many calories.
Still hungry? Wait 20 minutes before having another helping at meal times. This extra time gives your body time to recognize if you are satisfied. If you are still hungry, start with a fist-size serving portion of veggies or a serving of healthy fat (like a closed handful of nuts, or a thumb tip of peanut butter or real butter). True hunger is a gradual sensation which grows with time and is open to a variety of food options. Cravings are not true hunger cues. They are sudden and for a specific foods. Contact the health promotions dietitian for more strategies if you are struggling with managing cravings.
Bring your lunch to work. Midday meals are often too large in portion and loaded with hidden calories from unknown additives or sugars. Take control of what’s on your plate.
Take one bite and ask yourself, “Is this less healthy food worth it?” If it’s not tasty at all, stop eating it. Don’t waste your calories on another bite of junk you don’t even really like. Save your splurge for foods you truly enjoy and on something you will slow down and savor.
For more support, visit the Little Rock AFB fitness center and participate in a Vital 90 class hosted by Vaughn and other instructors.
For more resolution tips on making or maintaining goals, visit www.littlerock.af.mil/comprehensiveairmanfitness.