EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Jan. 4 January is the time of year when millions of Americans vow to make positive changes in their lives - from saving money to improving the way they eat. More often than not, what starts out as well-intentioned resolutions, quickly falter. Health experts say, especially in the area of fitness and nutrition, people easily lose focus and motivation because they think they have to make drastic changes to their daily routine to accomplish their goals.
"It's unrealistic to stay committed to completely changing a person's lifestyle," says Susie Garcia, a registered dietitian with Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market. "Small changes are all it takes to produce the best long-term results. When setting New Year's resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, do so with family and friends to remain accountable and to get support."
A few easy things people can do to lead healthier lives in the New Year are:
Walk Around the Block - Whether before or after work or school or during lunch time, walking is a safe, simple and low-impact exercise. It not only manages weight, but the activity can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Start with 20 minutes a day and work your way up to a 30-minute brisk walk five days a week.
An Apple a Day - It is recommended that Americans eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Garcia suggests that people start with at least one serving a day, slowly building it up to five. Fresh & Easy makes it affordable for people to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables with its 98-cent produce packs. Customers can always rely on having six different varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables at the store for just 98-cents.
Reduce Empty Calories - While tempting, chips, candy, sugary juices and sodas have no nutritional value and are therefore considered foods and beverages with empty calories. A great example is a typical 12-oz. can of soda contains more than nine teaspoons of sugar. Garcia suggests reducing intake of these items to see immediate results.
Eat Out Less - While it is sometimes easier to go through a drive-through or go to a restaurant to grab lunch or dinner, make it a goal to prepare at least one meal a day at home. It is not only less expensive; it tends to be healthier because people know exactly what they're eating. Fresh & Easy helps make it easy to eat well by offering affordable, high-quality products that don't contain artificial flavors, colors, added trans fats or preservatives unless absolutely necessary.
Garcia recommends that people eat five small meals every day with a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low fat dairy products.
Breakfast - Avoid convenient breakfast foods like donuts and muffins. One large blueberry muffin, for example, can have more than 600 calories and in excess of 30 grams of fat. Instead, choose a healthy breakfast like oatmeal with sliced bananas, almond slivers and a glass of milk. Another option is a whole wheat English muffin, with salmon, slices of tomatoes and cottage cheese. These breakfast ideas will not only keep people full longer, they also contain less calories and fat than a large blueberry muffin.
Salads as an Entree - Especially at the start of the New Year, salads are popular lunch and dinner options because greens are low in calories and contain a lot of fiber. To maximize nutrients, choose dark green leafy lettuces like spinach topped with grilled chicken breast, a sprinkling of walnuts or almonds and fresh fruits like raspberries or apple slices. The burst of flavor from fruits will help reduce the intake of high-calorie salad dressings. Healthier dressing options include squeezing fresh lemon or limes on the salad or combining olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make vinaigrette. Fresh & Easy offers convenient ready-made salads for those who want the work taken out of putting together a nutritious meal.
Desserts - It's okay to eat dessert after a meal, but try healthier sweet substitutions and remember moderation is key. Instead of fruit custard, cut fresh fruit to make a fruit salad and top with light whipped cream. Choose sugar free Popsicles or Fudgsicles instead of ice cream. These are simple ways to reduce calories without cutting dessert out completely.
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market currently has over 130 store locations in California, Nevada and Arizona. For more information or store locations, visit www.freshandeasy.com.
SOURCE Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market