Think fast—Are you spring break body ready?

It’s mid-March and you’re looking forward to the blossoming warmth of Spring. As the weather heats up and the artic layers of clothing slowly shed off, you might be googling the latest “get fit quick” crash diet popularized by your favorite (maybe not so favorite?) social media celebrity. But we already have the secret to an amazing warm-weather body: you already have it!

What food should I eat?

The best body type is one that’s well-fed with healthy and yummy foods as appropriate to your personal needs. There is more than one way to eat healthfully and everyone has their own eating style. Your culture, personal preferences, traditions, and budget help shape the foods your family enjoys. So, branch out! Healthy food does not equal tasteless food. Look up those slow cooker meals or ask Grandma for the stew recipe she just posted on Facebook—your palate will thank you.

How do I fit healthier eating into my busy life?

Life gets in the way of always planning a perfect plate of the most nutrient-dense foods. We get it. But, you can slowly integrate healthy changes into your family’s favorite recipes.

    1. Oodles of Noodles Pasta night is a family favorite, right? Try switching out those wheat flour noodles for a whole-grain variety. If you’re feeling extra saucy, use a vegetable alternative like zucchini or spaghetti squash!
    2. Fats are…good? Well, some are! Use healthy fats (avocado, olive, nut) as cooking oils to replace butter.
    3. Go Explore Switch it up with global varieties of your favorite food. Try out some Mediterranean or Asian dishes—they tend to be healthier while losing no tastiness!
    4. Be Mindful Keep portions reasonable when loading up your plate with food goodies! Actively try to load half your plate with fruits or veggies at every meal to get the maximum nutrient intake.

Aim for a variety of foods and beverages from each food group and limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars!

What about my favorite sweet treat?

 Eat the cookie! There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favorite treat. Still try to limit saturated fat, excess sodium, and added sugars, but completely avoiding those guilty pleasures could do more harm than good later. Rule of thumb? Eat it because you want to eat it, not because you may be bored at work and there’s donuts in the breakroom.

What if I have questions about my nutrition?

Culbertson Memorial Hospital offers Nutritional Counseling with a Registered Dietitian every Wednesday. To schedule an appointment, please contact Patient Registration at 217-322-4321 ext. 5271.