January Health Tips and National Observations
Here’s some news you can use for January 2021!
5 Ways to Start Your Year Off Right
- Check in on your mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health in building a healthy lifestyle. Reach out to a professional if you need help.
- Be social. Isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have to mean loneliness. Reconnect with others virtually or while practicing social distancing.
- Get regular checkups. Stay up to date on your annual physicals and necessary health tests. Screenings can help identify health issues to be addressed.
- Drink more water. Consuming sugary drinks, like juice or soda, can cause liver damage, premature aging and anxiety. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption as well.
- Count nutrients, not calories. Focus on improving the overall quality of your diet and not getting hung up on calories. Achieve this by adding more fiber, protein and probiotics to your diet.
If you do just one thing in 2021, consider making time for yourself. Identify the activities that make you happy or fulfilled and prioritize them. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support with lifestyle changes.
Kick Stress Eating to the Curb
As the COVID-19 pandemic and winter season continue, you may be fighting the urge to eat your feelings. Although stress eating may be soothing at first, you likely won’t feel better in the end. Consuming excess calories in one sitting can cause fatigue, bloating, stomach discomfort and weight gain over time. Consider the following ways to cope with stress eating:
- Indulge in moderation. Everything is OK in moderation, just don’t overdo it. Set yourself a limit before taking that first bite.
- Control portion sizes. On a similar note, make snacks easy to grab and go by pre-portioning them to help you save time and avoid overeating.
- Boost nutritional value. Introduce healthy swaps or additions to your favorite indulgences. For example, consider substituting pasta with zucchini noodles or adding healthy toppings to ice cream that you can fill up on instead.
- Choose “busy snacks.” Opt for healthy snacks that keep your hands busy, such as eating popcorn or dipping apple slices into peanut butter.
It could also be helpful to incorporate exercise or mindful activities into your routine for when you want to stress eat. It’s all about finding a strategy that works to help you feel better in the long run.
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EATING OUT CAN BE HEALTHY
Though it may seem like an impossible feat, you can still maintain your diet while enjoying a meal out with friends and family.
Furthermore, it can also remain an enjoyable experience.
Since restaurants (especially fast food chains) tend to serve meals with more fat, salt and sugar than a meal prepared at home, it is important to understand what foods to avoid and which ones to select from the menu.
Foods to Avoid
There are many foods full of excess fat and calories that can destroy your healthy diet. Steer clear of these foods while dining out:
- Condiments such as salad dressings, cheese sauces, tartar sauce, gravy and guacamole
- Butter and cheese
- Fried foods such as chicken or French fries
- Beverages such as regular soda, whole milk and various alcoholic drinks
Foods to Try
To make healthier decisions while out enjoying a meal,
try some of these foods to keep your diet on track and
your waistline thin:
- Soups made with juices and broth instead of cream
- Raw vegetables without a marinade
- Fresh fruit
- Steamed seafood
- Poached or boiled eggs
- Salads with low-calorie or fat-free dressing on the side
- Whole-grain breads and crackers
- Baked, boiled and steamed potatoes without sour cream, butter or cheese on top
- Roasted, baked, broiled and grilled meats and poultry
- Diet soda, low-fat or non-fat milk, or water
- Whole wheat tortillas