By Casey Seamon, Registered Dietitian 

Step One to Eating Healthier

If you’ve ever wanted to get healthier and feel the urge to completely overhaul every single aspect of your life, you are not alone. When I start with new clients, I often hear a laundry list of lifestyle changes they are ready to commit to.

The motivation might be there in the beginning, but it can quickly slip as you try to tackle the complicated world of nutrition. When a TV doctor is promoting a miracle supplement, and you’re bombarded with blogs about new diets and social media posts about super success stories, it won’t be long before you throw your hands up and just return to your previous routine. 

Back to basics

Let’s take it back to basics. For those of you who are ready to start fresh but aren’t quite sure how, try this: fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. 

Step One to Eating Healthier by the YMCA of Middle TN

Making half of your plate fruits and veggies is an incredibly powerful meal pattern that can have a profound effect on your overall health. 

It sounds simple, because it is. Fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals and can help protect against disease. They’re easily available and relatively inexpensive.

Unfortunately, only about 12% of Americans are consuming adequate amounts of fruit, and only 9% are getting enough veggies. So, if you’re feeling unsure of how to begin eating healthier, that is an excellent place to start.

One step at a time

Step One to Eating Healthier by the YMCA of Middle TN

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, prevent disease, increase your energy, look better in a bathing suit, etc. the key is to take it one step at a time.

The fad diets you hear buzz about at the office or the quick fixes you see on the news are designed to be catchy, but that doesn’t mean they are a smart choice for every person. Ultimately, what works for your neighbor or your cousin’s friend isn’t necessarily going to work for you. 

While nutrition science is surely complex, the basic principles aren’t. People often get hung up on specific macronutrients or nutrient timing. But the simplest, time-tested aspect to focus on is fruits and vegetables. What’s stopping you from a half plate at your next meal?

Get support

Remember, when you begin any health and wellness journey it’s important to understand that it is personal and individual. If you could use help navigating yours, reach out to a Registered Dietitian or join a group like the YMCA’s Weight Loss Program. Your goals may be unique to you, but you don’t have to pursue them alone.