Goal-setting is key to maintaining healthy diet

    MU Health Care has some tips to keep your diet on track when you want to reach for the junk food. (MU Health Care)

    Although most of us start off the year with good intentions, experts say 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions will fail by the second week of February. However, there are some ways to maintain your healthy habits beyond the first month of the year, especially if your resolution involves eating better.

    For one, dietitians at University of Missouri Health Care suggest focusing on sustainable behaviors, rather than trendy or popular diets.

    “I don’t usually recommend a specific diet,” said Ashley Ritzo, RDN, a registered dietitian at MU Health Care. “I think we should look at it from a broader perspective of lifestyle behaviors that need to change, and set more actionable goals that you can sustain over a long period of time.”

    Ritzo says any goals you set should meet three criteria:

    • You should feel like you’re getting enough to eat, not depriving yourself.
    • You should enjoy what you’re eating.
    • It should be something you can see yourself doing five or 10 years into the future.

    Ritzo also works with her clients to connect those healthy behaviors or goals to things that are important to them.

    “If someone wants to retire and be able to travel and move around more easily, get up and down off the ground with their grandchildren, establishing healthy lifestyle behaviors can help them do that,” Ritzo said.

    For more information on MU Health Care’s dietitian services or to schedule one-on-one nutrition counseling, click here.

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