Health Team

New Year Could Mean 'New You'

Posted January 3, 2007 9:24 a.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2007 5:02 p.m. EST

WRAL Health Team
— A new year means a new list of resolutions. Losing weight is the most popular goal and the WRAL Health Team has several tips for a good start.

Health experts often say if you want to lose weight, burn off more calories than you eat, but that is easier said than done. But even small, simple changes can make a big difference in a year.

Packed gyms tell the story. many people start the new year with the goal of losing weight, but exercise is only half the equation.

"It's about balancing your exercise plan and nutrition plan," said Natalie Newell, a registered dietician with Rex Healthcare.

Newell said the best way to start is with a food journal.

"Write down your emotions. Write down what you're eating," she said. "Write down what you're eating when you're physically hungry. That's a key component too. A lot of people eat because it's a habit."

You should also focus on eating only when you are physically hungry and then make healthier choices. Fast-food restaurants are trying to offer healthy alternatives.

"They're giving us fruit options, so instead of french fries, choose a fruit cup. Instead of a soda, choose water," she said.

Newell said women need 10 to 11 cups of water a day while men need up to 16 cups a day. She said water will help you feel fuller and keep you from thirsting for sugary drinks.

Lastly, Newell said you should eat smaller portions.

"Our idea of what portion sizes are are very skewed, so what we think might be 200 calories actually might be 400 to 500 calories," she said.

Newell said that you could cut most restaurant portions in half and save the rest for another meal.