by Sally Rubio, UTSA Dietetic Student
reviewed by Celina Parás, Nutrition Education Specialist, CHEF, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
edited by Andi Champion, Program Coordiantor, CHEF
While leading a healthier lifestyle is a common goal for most people, it can be intimidating when you don’t know where to begin. Follow our simple steps to get motivated and help your family reach your health goals.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of food groups in moderation and correct proportion. Your plate should consist of fruits, veggies, grains, protein, and dairy. MyPlate is a great visual guide to help remember what a balanced plate should look like. According to MyPlate you should: make half your plate fruits and vegetables, make sure half of your grain intake are whole grains, choose low-fat or fat-free dairy, and vary your sources of protein.
It’s also important to eat the right number of calories is based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. For more guidance, visit MyPlate.gov.
Physical activity is essential to sustain a healthy lifestyle and improve your well-being. This can be any activity that makes your body move and burns calories such as; bike riding, swimming, walking, running, weight training, etc. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, five times a week for optimal health.
Think Positively and Listen to Your Body
There will be days where you feel like you have failed by eating a doughnut or a bag of chips but remember that it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while. Food does not define who you are! Positive remarks towards yourself will give you the push you need to stay on track and reach your goal. Learning how to listen to your body is also essential. There will be days when exhaustion will kick in by everyday life activities so listen to your body and give it the rest it needs so you don’t burn out.
What is MyPlate? Choose MyPlate. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. Published 2018. Accessed November 29, 2018.
Suggested Servings from Each Food Group. www.heart.org. http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/suggested-servings-from-each-food-group. Published 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.
American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults. www.heart.org. http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults. Published 2018. Accessed October 30, 2018.