Want a sneak preview of what you'll learn about at MAGNET's dinner on September 17? We spoke with Julie Persak, clinical dietitian with St. Mary's, on three ways you can better your health today!
What are the keys to healthy living?
I always tell people it's important to allow yourself a little leeway to deviate once in a while. Otherwise when you fall off your healthy eating track, or forget to go exercise a few days, you may feel discouraged and stop altogether. What you want to do is know where you're starting and start small. Set achievable goals and work toward them. Don't think of it as a chore but more like a lifestyle change and it will stop being work and just a normal part of life.
What are the most important steps to making lifestyle changes?
1. Change just one thing at a time. Don't try to do a life makeover because then it becomes too much. Instead choose one thing and work on it. Then when it becomes a habit, work on something else.
2. Take small steps. Some people set a goal and then try to accomplish it all at once. Instead, take small steps. So if you want to get to 3-5 servings of vegetables a day, don't jump right in the first day and try eating it all. Maybe you first start by changing the portion size on your plate. Then start adding in new vegetable options. And before you know it, you'll be eating right.
3. Think of your vices (usually you know!), identify them and work on them. It can be overwhelming to take on lifestyle challenges or wonder where to start. Instead think of what you know you do that's not healthy and work on that. Do you eat a lot of candy? Maybe it's time to take it off your desk and when you have a craving reach for water or a piece of gum.
3. As young professionals, why is it important for us to make meaningful lifestyle changes now?
Because life is like the butterfly effect--what you do now impacts what happens to you health-wise later in life. If you make good choices now, you're going to carry those on to the rest of your life as well. Remember everything is cumulative, so don't think, "I'll do that when I'm older." Start now and make it a routine part of your life. Also, if you make good lifestyle choices a habit you won't have to change later on when you settle down and try to set a good example for your kids!
Want to hear more of Persak's tips? Sign up now to attend our dinner event on September 17--!