A Healthier U

Real Life Challenge: Building a strong foundation of eating habits

In the Real Life Challenge, the nutrition category includes five different habits. Each habit is very important in achieving health and well-being, but it’s no easy feat to follow through with all of them every day. Over the past four weeks of the challenge, what nutrition habits have been most difficult for you? Choose one of them this week and commit to a plan that gives you direction to complete that habit every day. Your plan might look like one of these examples:

  • Mindful of Portion Size: Joan eats a quick breakfast in the morning at home around 7 a.m., but doesn’t eat again until 12:30 p.m. She’s usually starving by this time and tends to eat so fast that she feels stuffed, tired, and pretty uncomfortable after. To better manage her hunger throughout the day, Joan plans to bring a few apples, bananas, and a bag of almonds to work. Each day, she’ll eat a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds when she just starts to feel hungry around 10:30 a.m. This way she won’t be starving at lunch, but rather slightly hungry and in a better position to eat more slowly and stop when satisfied.
  • Plenty of Veggies: Tim learned at his dietitian visit that he should aim to eat at least 3-5 cups of vegetables each day. He knows he’s not there yet, but wants to work on this. Every morning he has a breakfast smoothie with fruit, yogurt, peanut butter and milk. His coworker told him she usually adds spinach to her smoothies. Every morning this week, Tim is going to add a heaping cup of raw baby spinach to his usual smoothie.
  • Stayed Well-Hydrated with Water: Laura realized that it was common for her to go half the day without drinking any water. She started her day with coffee, had a mid-morning soda and then usually didn’t have a glass of water until after lunch. She wondered if some of her headaches and struggle focusing were related to dehydration. For the next week, she decided to put a glass of water on her nightstand at night, so she would remember to drink it first thing every morning.

Reevaluate your specific goal in a week. How did it go? Does it need to be readjusted to fit better into your lifestyle or are you ready to add another goal to your plate? Continue building a strong foundation of nutrition habits like this as you work toward adapting a way of eating that you’ll be able to stick to for a lifetime.

For more information about the Real Life Challenge, go here.

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