Changing your eating habits

Changing Eating Habits

So how does one start to eat healthier? No matter what your end goals are changing what you are doing is where you have to start. One way to start is by using the website ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Its start you on a basic eating concept that can be applied in the dining halls or at home. You quarter your plate each quarter containing one of the following: vegetables, fruit, protein and grain or starchy vegetables. To the right of the plate there is serving of dairy which is designed to remind you to have a calcium source. Eating this way naturally balances out your meal and controls your calories. The website coaches you on what foods fit into each area. For vegetables, there are recommendations for how many servings of green and red and orange vegetables over the week and how to incorporated starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn. Under protein, you can find meat and meatless sources to select in your diet. This is also a discreet method to evaluate your plate.

MyPlate on Campus

Wondering about size of plate or how high you can stack your food? This is where you use common sense. Women can use a lunch or smaller dinner plate (8-9 inches) and men can use a larger dinner plate (10-11 inches). Beware our plate size has grown for around 8-9 inches up to 13 inches in some restaurants. You have to keep your plate from looking like the first trip at Thanksgiving. Normally, a plate would be a 1-3 inches high depending on the food.

Remember to eat the vegetables and fruit first and stop when you are comfortably full.

Kristina Houser, LD

Diet is a four-letter word!

Losing Weight

Dieting is a word that should not exist! It’s depressing to say the least. Our mind begins to focus on what we can’t have. Then, we mess up, give up and we try again. If you have struggled with your body weight all of your life, the cycle is frustrating. Perhaps you’re someone who has never had a weight problem but seems to have gained weight in college and is unsure of how to go about losing weight.

Everyone seems to want to start with the 1200 calorie diet and hopes for the best. In about 3 days, it’s not going well. Why? Because 1200 calories is too low for almost everyone but if you go on line that is what you will find. The websites suggest this will permit fast weight loss which everyone wants!

Weight loss is about being healthier. If you can match your food intake to your body’s needs, weight loss will happen. The trick – figuring out what works for your body. If done correctly, you aren’t dieting; you are eating well for your body and you continue to eat that way when you’ve reached your goal weight.

Some people need to reduce portion size, others need to manage carbohydrates, some eat out less, and others move more. The list goes on with changes in habits or food that need that you need to incorporate. A dietitian is the best way to get personalized help. Student Life Student Health Services has a dietitian on staff that can help with your weight loss goals.

So how to you start on this adventure on your own: keep a food log for a week.

Then, go to Choose My Plate.gov and compare how you are eating with what is suggested.

Kristina Houser, LD

From meal plan to apartment plan

Its apartment time!

You put in your dorm time, but now you are free.  Free to find an apartment and free from the food plan and you are certain this will save you money. Think carefully about what lies ahead in this department and ask yourself some questions.

Where is the closest

Adjusting from meal plan to apartment plan

full grocery store?

 

Do I know who much groceries cost?

How will I get there? Do I have a backup plan if the first one does not work?

Do I know how to menu plan so I can create a grocery list?

What, if anything, do I know how to cook from scratch or a box?

What will be my budget for food including groceries and eat out?

How big is the refrigerator and how will we divide the space?

Will my roommates and I keep food individual or will we make group meals?

Over the summer, before you move into that apartment, practice grocery shopping and acquire a sense for cost. Think about meal planning. Learn what to keep on hand in your college pantry. Practice packing lunches over summer if you will do that in the fall. Build a library of 15 minute meals for when you are pressured for time.  Research college friendly cooking.  Here’s a great book to get you started:

The $5 a Meal College Cookbook: Good Cheap Food for When You Need to Eat by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson, B.E. Horton.

Kristina Houser, LD