January 2, 2019
Clinical Contributors to this Story
Caity Liptak King, M.S., RDN contributes to topics such as Nutrition.
Does eating healthier top your list of New Year’s resolutions? In addition to munching on plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins, navigate around these four diet traps. “Preparing your strategy ahead of time will help you stay on course and enjoy a healthier year,” says Caity Liptak King, M.S., RDN, a registered dietitian with Ocean Medical Center.
DIET TRAP 1: You’re not eating often enough. Waiting to eat until you’re famished can result in consuming too much food and making unhealthy decisions.
WINNING STRATEGY: “Listen to your body and eat when you start to feel hungry,” Liptak King advises. Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as sliced fruits, veggies or nuts.
DIET TRAP 2: Your drinks contain too many calories. The calories in your cup can quickly add up. Having a latte in the morning, a regular soda with your lunch and a sweetened iced tea in the afternoon totals more than 600 calories in a day.
WINNING STRATEGY: “Simply replacing your usual drinks with water or sparkling water can trim your daily intake — and your waistline,” says Liptak King. Add a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to your glass, if plain water doesn’t sound appetizing. Unsweetened tea and black coffee are other zero calorie beverage options.
DIET TRAP 3: You’re eating at the computer. Eating while watching TV, driving, sitting in front of your computer or texting can lead you to overeat. “These distractions take your attention away from your meal,” warns Liptak King.
WINNING STRATEGY: Power down your electronics at mealtime. “Put your fork down between each bite, and try eating your meals more slowly and mindfully,” Liptak King advises. “Pay attention to how full you feel.”
DIET TRAP 4: You don’t have a plan. High-calorie foods are everywhere. Planning ahead makes sure that you always have healthy options on hand. Take some time to plan your meals each week. Create a grocery list, and shop.
WINNING STRATEGY: Liptak King suggests doing some food prep on the weekend, if possible. “Cook and refrigerate meals or cut up fruits and veggies for healthy snacks and ready-to-cook ingredients.”
Want to upgrade your diet, but not sure where to start? Check out our nutrition section for healthy recipes and more guidance from Hackensack Meridian Health’s registered dietitians. Want to make sure your health screenings are up to date? Schedule an appointment with a primary care physician.