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Extension Agent: Have a healthy New Year

Dec. 27, 2011 at 6:27 a.m.


By Brenda Phipps

This year, instead of pledging to lose weight as so many do, try making a simple plan to eat a bit healthier and get a little more exercise. It's an easy way to improve your health without putting unwanted pressure on yourself. By following a few easy steps, you might find yourself healthier and slimmer, too.

Here are a few helpful tips for a healthier New Year:

Eat regular meals, starting with a good breakfast. Eating a balanced meal that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce the urge for binge eating and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Share a meal when going out to restaurants. Many restaurants now serve portions that are large enough to feed two, so try splitting a meal to save money and your waistline.

Instead of driving around a parking lot looking for a closer space, take a parking space a little farther away from the entrance. This will give you a great opportunity to walk and get some exercise.

Invest in new, smaller dishes. Did you know that the standard size of a dinner plate 50 years ago was 9 inches across, compared to 12 inches now? Research has shown that we feel fuller when our plates look fuller, so filling a smaller plate will trick your mind and help control your portion sizes.

Go to choosemyplate.gov and learn all about MyPlate, the USDA's new food guide icon.

Find an activity away from the television and computer that you really enjoy. Take a walk with your children, and explore your neighborhood, plant a garden and grow your own vegetables, or try a fun new dance class with a friend. You will be rewarding yourself with better health while having a good time.

Resource: lancaster.unl.edu/food/ft-jan-10.shtml

Brenda Phipps is a Victoria County extension assistant.

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