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Benefits of a Plan

Pat Baird, MA, RDN, FAND

Vacation. Retirement. Healthy weight.  What’s the common thread?  In order to be successful they all require a plan.  Financial experts, for instance, recommend that a solid plan, realistic goals, and a budget along with periodic reviews be established in order to ensure a comfortable retirement.

The same is true for maintaining a healthy weight. That may seem even more challenging at this time of year when the emphasis is on indulgence.  Food is everywhere!   Take it from this dietitian:  whether it’s holding steady or losing some weight it should never be based on deprivation.  The d-word should never be part of the plan.  Rather, smaller amounts of everything and eliminating nothing are the best course to reach a weight goal.

All foods can fit so use the trade-off system.  If you really enjoy soda, for instance, drink it in moderate amounts.  Or have a diet soda if having some cheese at a party is where you want to spend some calories.  The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association say low-and-no-calorie sweetened beverages and other foods have the potential to help people reach and maintain a healthy body weight and are helpful with glucose control for people with diabetes.

Take a few minutes every week to look at your schedule and where you’ll be.  Anticipate, plan, and think about your upcoming food and beverage choices; and factor in some activity each day.  Use a pedometer to track steps, and keep a food diary as well.  Smart phones are ideal for recording both.

Make success your mantra and make a plan to make it happen.

Pat Baird is a registered dietitian nutritionist, a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; and President of the CT Academy of Nutrition.  She is an award-winning author of five books, a noted media spokesperson, and adjunct professor at UConn Stamford. Pat worked in healthcare at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

Tags: Health Blog Balance
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