WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) – Studies show losing weight and eating better are two of the most popular resolutions every new year.
According to a local dietician, many people try to make drastic changes early in the year they simply cannot sustain.
Connie Gottshall, a registered dietician at The Greenbrier Clinic, told 59News most people who set a goal of trying to eat healthier go about it entirely the wrong way.
She said lots of people think they need to cut out their favorite foods, which is unsustainable and leads many people to feel guilty for enjoying the foods they like. But rather than giving certain foods up, she encouraged people to look at making changes in a different way.
“Instead of taking things away, like ‘I’m going to eliminate all carbohydrates,’ I think ‘what can I add to be more healthful?'” said Gottshall. “For example, did you know that only nine percent of Americans in 2015 got their recommended amount of vegetables per day? I mean, nobody is heavy in America because we’re eating too much steamed broccoli.”
According to Gottshall, aside from cutting out certain foods, another mistake people make is not eating enough, or eating foods they know won’t make them full.
She said adding whole grains like chickpeas or quinoa, or proteins like grilled chicken to your lunch can give you the nutrients you need and make you feel more full.
“Sometimes people say, ‘well I had a salad and I was starved an hour later,'” said Gottshall. “Well I suggest, did you add three or four ounces of lean protein? Did you add any carbohydrates to that salad?”
Ultimately though when it comes to making healthier food choices, many people give up because they get overwhelmed trying to change everything about their diet all at once.
Gottshall told 59News, if you’re serious about wanting to eat healthier, you have to start small.
“Small, measurable, attainable goals. And be specific with your goals. Say ‘this week I’m going to work on adding one vegetable at every meal,'” Gottshall said.
Gottshall said it’s also important to keep little reminders around about why you want to eat healthier. Writing yourself a note and sticking it on the mirror in the morning can make a big difference for healthy eating motivation.
To make an appointment to speak to Gottshall at The Greenbrier Clinic about your healthy eating journey, call 800-362-7798.