Did you know that Texas has 3 of the most obese cities in the nation? Not only that, nearly 36% of adult Texans reported being obese in 2020. It’s not just a problem for the Lone Star State, every state in America is experiencing an obesity epidemic, which is extremely concerning when you consider that obese adults face an increased risks of other health issues, like stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. That is why Family HealthCare Associates is taking time during “National Nutrition Month” to help our patients understand the importance of making healthy food choices and developing healthy habits. If you have gained weight during the pandemic and are ready to change your routine, here are nine questions to ask yourself that will help you get back to eating healthy again.
- Do You Eat Breakfast? Your mother was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jumpstarts your metabolism and gets your body burning fat, so start every day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Do You Drink Enough Water? Most Americans do not drink enough water, so quench your thirst with eight glasses of water a day instead of sodas, or sugary drinks with empty calories.
- Is Half of Your Plate Full of Fruits and Veggies? Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, so try to make two cups of fruits, and 2 1/2 cups of non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, tomato, zucchini, asparagus, or other leafy greens, part of your daily goal.
- Do You Get Your Body Moving? You do not have to be a gym rat to be healthy—start slow and take a walk or put on music and add aerobic activity to your life. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week and mix in strength exercises at least twice a week.
- Do You Read Food Labels? You would be shocked what you are putting into your body, so read the labels. The Nutrition Facts panel can help you choose foods and drinks that meet your nutrient needs.
- Do You Eat Healthy Snacks? Health snacks will sustain your energy levels between meals, so cut out the Snickers bars and try raw veggies with low-fat cottage cheese; or put a tablespoon of peanut butter on an apple, or banana.
- Do You Get Enough Fiber in your Diet? Add more fiber in your meals by eating more veggies, beans, nuts, and whole grains. It helps you lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and feel fuller longer.
- Is Sugar One of Your Major Food Groups? Most Americans love their sugar, so try replacing that donut with fresh fruit. If you do not like raw fruit, look for canned fruits packed in their own juice instead of heavy syrup. And switch out that sugary beverage for a glass of water with a slice of fresh fruit.
- How about Cutting Down on Saturated Fat? We all know fast food can be addictive, but fried foods with saturated fats are killers for your health, so cut out that next trip to the drive-thru and cook at home. Try baking, broiling, or grilling, instead of frying.
Whether you want to lose weight, lower your health risks, or manage a chronic disease, Family HealthCare Associates encourages you to act during “National Nutrition Month,” and consider consulting with your physician, or a registered nutritionist to develop a diet that is right for you. Do not wait another day.