Comet Corner features alumni who are experts in their fields who provide everyday tips and insight on relevant topics.
With the start of a new year, many of us are setting resolutions and rethinking our daily habits. If you need some guidance relating to your health and nutrition, registered dietitian nutritionist Stella Yan BS’15 offers up five simple ideas to make your 2019 goals a reality:
- Be specific. Instead of setting a goal to eat healthier, a more specific goal would be to eat more fruits and vegetables. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to plan for it.
- Make it measurable. How will you measure your goal and your progress? Building on the last example, a measurable goal would be to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Make it actionable. Whatever your mission is, make sure you set goals you can directly control. Instead of having a goal to lose 20 pounds, give yourself more distinct guidelines, like eating out only two times a week or going to the gym three times a week.
- Be realistic. If you’re currently only eating one serving of fruit or vegetables a day, it may be hard to increase that up to five servings a day. A more realistic goal would be to eat three servings.
- Set a time frame. Aim to make your goal a part of your daily or weekly routine by setting a time frame. For example, you can change your goal of eating three servings of fruits and vegetables to eating three servings per day. Routine creates habit.
Instead of picking a fad diet, Yan also recommended MyPlate, a diet developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“MyPlate incorporates all food groups, that way you’re getting all the different nutrients that each food group provides,” Yan said. “Aim to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables, a quarter protein, a quarter grains and a serving of dairy on the side.”
After graduating from UT Dallas, Stella Yan BS’15 earned a master’s in clinical nutrition from UT Southwestern Medical Center and is currently a transplant dietitian at Medical City Dallas.