30 days to a better, healthier you

Becky B. Gautreaux
--Submitted photo

By BECKY B. GAUTREAUX, RD, LDN LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent

Have you stuck to your “get healthy” New Year’s resolution? Are you ready for swimsuit season? Below are day-by-day diet and exercise tips to help you get healthy.
These tips should be used year round to help you lose weight and maintain that healthy weight.
June 1: Weigh yourself once a week, same day, same time and scale.
June 2: Set up a weight loss program with a registered dietitian.
June 3: Plan a week’s worth of menus using low-fat cookbooks.
June 4: Stock up on fresh veggies and fruits, whole grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, fish and chicken.
June 5: Switch to low fat milk, saving 45 calories and 5 grams of fat with every glass.
June 6: Eat a piece of fruit at every meal.
June 7: Burn extra calories by taking the stairs or walk after dinner.
June 8: Eat only lean meats like sirloin, round, flank steak and 90 percent lean ground beef.
June 9: Remove the skin from chicken (trims fat and saves 100 calories per serving).
June 10: Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite dip or low-fat salad dressing.
June 11: Watch portion sizes. Read the Nutrition Facts label for the correct serving size.
June 12: Eat at least three servings of vegetables every day.
June 13: Drink coffee black. Save 15 calories for every teaspoon of sugar, 30 calories for every tablespoon of cream.
June 14: Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases on less nutritious items that cost more.
June 15: Halfway point, congratulations on your successes of healthier eating, weight loss, increased physical activity! Get moving, even if you park father from the door or take the stairs.
June 16: Here’s a time warp that will leave you feeling groovy! It takes your brain 20 minutes to start signaling a feeling of fullness. So take it easy and make time to really enjoy your food.
June 17: Serve your dinner plates from the kitchen, then go sit and eat. Keeping the serving dishes off the dinner table helps prevent you from overeating.
June 18: Keep the skin. Fruits and veggies have about twice as much fiber and 45 percent more antioxidants than a naked one.
June 19: Fill up on high fiber foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals.
June 20: Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
June 21: Don’t forget to eat breakfast every day. It helps jump start your metabolism and will help you burn extra calories.
June 22: Substitute jam for margarine on your slice of toast saving about 30 calories and 5 grams of fat per teaspoon.
June 23: Cut back on condiments to save fat and calories or switch to lower fat versions of your favorite condiments like mayonnaise, salad dressing, sour cream, etc.
June 24: Limit salad dressing to 2 tablespoons and use low fat/low calorie dressing.
June 25: Prepare pasta with a meatless marinara sauce, not a creamy sauce that is loaded with fat and calories.
June 26: Think small at fast food restaurants and save some calories. Try ordering a small hamburger, side salad with fat free dressing and a small drink or better yet order water or low fat milk to drink.
June 27: Toss away the salt shaker and sprinkle on herbs and spices on food instead. Limit sodium to 2,300mg/day, and for you over 51 — limit to 1,500mg/day. Low sodium is less than 140mg per serving.
June 28: Try a low fat/low calorie dessert like angel food cake or pudding made with low-fat milk.
June 29: Eat one meatless meal a week like bean chili or hearty minestrone soup.
June 30: Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, they are loaded with empty calories.
June 31: Give yourself a pat on the back, you have made it through the month! Celebrate by ordering out tonight. Choose foods that have been baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, steamed or roasted. Avoid foods than have been fried or tossed in a cream sauce.
Following the tips above will help you achieve a healthier weight.
Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
For more information contact Becky B. Gautreaux at the St. Mary Parish LSU AgCenter office, 500 Main St. Room 314, Franklin. She can be reached at 337-828-4100, ext. 300, or via email at bgautreaux@agcenter. lsu.edu.

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