Secrets to Success: Tips to Motivate you!

Making the decision to live a healthier lifestyle by eating well and being active is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Some days we feel motivated to be healthy, we get out of bed excited to lace up our shoes and go walking and make healthy food choices. Other days we don’t feel so motivated and energized to be healthy. It is easy to get stuck in a slump. Because of this, we have asked our regular online program users to share their tips and secrets to staying motivated and tell us what encourages them to stay active and eat healthier.

Visit this link to read secrets to success from readers like you

Tools and Resources to Understand Nutrition

It’s national nutrition month so we want to encourage everyone to focus on eating healthier. Often times a barrier to eating healthier is not feeling like you know how to eat healthy very easily. Nutrition often seems complicated and it’s hard to understand in a simple way the things you need to know. To help uncover the mystery around nutrition we have some suggested tools and resources to share below.

We have developed a great online program called the Nutrition Challenge to help people understand nutrition in a simple and easy way. This free 8-week online program will help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. To sign up for this program click here

Living in the desert you may think there aren’t many places to get fresh grown produce. However, there are several farmers markets around the Valley providing residents with many opportunities to purchase locally/regionally grown produce. Local food tastes better and is fresher than food that has been shipped long distances. Now, more of your friends and neighbors can have access to healthy fruits and vegetables as EBT (electronic benefit transfer) machines get integrated into select farmers markets throughout the county. You can use your credit/debit card and even your SNAP benefits now. Click here

Another thing we have created is the Nutrition Services Directory is a compilation of all known public sector nutrition related resources that are available in Nevada. Most are free, but some are available only to people who meet certain eligibility requirements. It is designed to help individuals learn more food assistance programs, nutrition education, who to call if you need food etc. Click here to learn more

Choosing Healthy Options While Eating Out.

If you’re going out to eat but you want to eat healthy we have some advice.  The good news is that many restaurants are adding healthier menu options so it’s possible to get a fairly nutritious meal away from home. Making good choices when eating out will help you maintain a healthy diet. Here are tips for when you eat out:

Check out the menu online before you go. This will give you time to look over the options and select a meal without distractions. Once you pick something, stick to it. Don’t let yourself be influenced by other people or other cues like the smell of other food.

Watch what you drink. Many beverages contain a large number of calories. Order water or unsweetened iced tea. If you must have soda, make it diet. Also, make shakes and other ice-cream drinks an occasional treat.

Keep portion sizes small. Choose the smallest size, order half a sandwich or eat only half and take the rest to go. Taking half home can save you from having to buy or bring lunch to work the next day.

Choose a healthier side dish. Instead of French fries, choose a side salad with low-fat dressing, veggies, a baked potato or add a fruit bowl. Other healthier choices include apple slices, corn on the cob, steamed rice, vegetable soup or baked potato chips.

Stay away from the pre-meal food. Bread and butter or chips and salsa aren’t anything out of the ordinary. So why waste calories on these items?? Skip the bread and chips and spend the calories on your meal.

Smart choices. Select grilled or roasted lean meats — such as turkey, chicken breast, lean ham or lean roast beef. Also choose items that are steamed, fresh, broiled or poached.

Just say no. Avoid fried, breaded, crispy, au-gratin foods and dishes with “cream” in the title.

Have it your way. Don’t settle for what comes with your sandwich or meal. Ask for healthier options and substitutions.

When it comes to eating out we often throw caution to the wind and do not like to give up our favorites or make changes. If this is the case, be selective about where on your plate you indulge. If you really like the mashed potatoes with the creamy gravy, think about selecting a healthier lean meat like fish or chicken. Think of it as indulging in moderation. And if you know you are going out to eat for one of your meals, try to create some balance and make your other meals as healthy as possible.

Nighttime strikes and the hunger attack is on!

Even the healthiest of eaters face the challenge of the nighttime munchies. Often times at night it’s the first time we have had a chance to stop and relax after a long day. And it’s easier to give into those urges to snack or overeat when we are feeling tired or emotional. And before you know it, you’ve eaten a second dinner just in snacks.

Knowing how to successfully deal with those late night hunger attacks can keep on track for reaching your goals. Plus often times we are watching TV and those food commercials do a great job of triggering our desires!

Here are a few tips to avoiding the nighttime munchies:

Ask yourself if you really are hungry? Recognize the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger such as boredom or loneliness. Learn to “touch” your hunger: is it below the shoulders or above? If it’s below then you can know it is physical hunger. Eating when a person is not physically hungry often leads to overeating, guilt and discomfort. Check out an old blog post about mindful eating.

Don’t skip meals. Eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner including healthy snacks. Establish regular meal patterns and stick to them. Ideally if you do this you should not need more food for that day.

If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. Take away or limit the temptation to eat junk food at night by not buying it in the first place. If you don’t have it in the cupboard the likelihood that you will make a special trip to the store is small.

Take up a hobby for nighttime. Busy yourself with something to do at night before you go to bed. If you keep your hands and mind busy you are less likely to stop to reach for snacks. Often times we feel more depressed or lonely at night and we get into a habit of watching TV and eating to feel better. By putting our efforts into a hobby we can focus our attention on something constructive.

Go to sleep earlier. Staying up late just gives you more time to potentially eat unwanted calories. Plus who doesn’t want extra sleep?

Drink Water. Before you hit the snacks, hit the tap. Drink a glass of water before you resort to eating. This can help you feel full and might stop you from consuming unwanted calories.

Break the bad habits. If you have a routine at night that involves eating unnecessary calories, break the routine. Instead of turning on the TV while eating dinner. Eat at the table and follow your meal up with a nice evening walk. Change your routine and you can change your habits.

Brush your teeth after dinner. Don’t wait to brush your teeth just before you go to bed. That clean mouth feeling might make you reluctant to snack and have to re-brush. Try chewing gum or ice if you feel that desire to munch on something.

By making a plan for yourself and sticking to it you will have a greater chance beating those nighttime munchies attack!