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Nutrition tips for new year

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

It’s not too late to make some resolutions for the new year. Here are some tips for improving your diet. 

Eat breakfast on daily basis

In addition to giving you energy, stabilizing blood sugar, boosting mood and concentration, eating breakfast also helps with weight loss. Skipping breakfast leads to muscle breakdown, which leads to a lower metabolism, which can then cause weight gain. Start your day with a healthy carbohydrate as well as protein. Examples include whole-grain toast with peanut butter, banana and a hard-boiled egg, oatmeal with walnuts, or berries with Greek yogurt.

Sleep well

There is a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. 

No snacking with electronics

We are living in a very high-tech society. While electronic devices are not the direct cause of a poor diet and weight gain, they certainly can be part of the equation. Avoid snacks and sugary drinks while at the television or computer.

Get your vitamin D

Vitamin D levels in the body affect many functions, including mood, calcium absorption, and are linked to depression and weight gain. Include more vitamin D-rich foods in your diet such as salmon and milk. Get 15 minutes of sunlight when you are able. The majority of people would benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement on a daily basis. Speak to your physician about taking this as a supplement.

Strike out sugar

One out of every four calories Americans eat is sugar. Only 6 percent of the calories we consume should come from sugar. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, 6 percent of that is 30 grams (1 gram of sugar is 4 calories). More than 75 percent of sugar in our diet comes from soda and fruit drinks. Drink water instead.

Personalize your eating style

Your diet needs to be something you can do over the long haul and must include foods you enjoy. Plan your meals and snacks in advance. Make it work for you.

Enjoy your food, just eat less

This is simple advice, yet challenging to do. Controlling portions is difficult, especially in our culture where more is better. Put less food on your plate, use a smaller dish or plate, eat slowly, and enjoy your food, just eat less.

Turkey tortilla wrap

1 whole-grain tortilla

1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese (plain or vegetable)

2 tablespoons salsa

3 slices shaved oven-roasted turkey breast

2 tablespoons 2 percent shredded cheddar cheese

2 green lettuce leaves (or spinach)

Spread tortilla with reduced-fat cream cheese, then salsa. Top with turkey, cheddar cheese and lettuce; roll up. This makes a quick lunch item for at home or at work.

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