Health Topics

Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle for You and Your Family

Audit your food choices and lifestyle

Keep track of what you eat or drink, along with how much, when and why. For example, do you snack when you feel stressed or bored? Keep a food diary to determine the eating behaviors you want to change.

Set realistic personal goals

Decide what you want, such as a healthier weight or lower cholesterol. And remember that change does not mean giving up a food you like. However, smaller portions, different ways of cooking or being more physically active give you more “wiggle room” to occasionally enjoy foods with more calories.

Make a plan for change

Divide big goals, such as "I will eat better," into each day. Write down practical steps you can take to achieve your goals.  For example:

  • Goal:  Eat more whole-grain foods every day.
  • Steps:  Make sandwiches and toast with whole-grain bread. Switch to brown rice. Eat oatmeal for breakfast. Add whole-wheat pasta or whole barley to vegetable soups.

Re-evaluate your plan every month or two

Monitor how the changes you are making fit with your goals, and make additional changes as needed.

Be patient

Changes that last take time, commitment and encouragement. Most health goals take a lifelong commitment. Stick with your plan and remember that small steps toward reaching your goal add up over time. If you get off track, pick up where you left off and start again.

Source: The American Dietetic Association

For More Information

To learn more about the Community Nutrition Center at Danbury Hospital, please contact us. Need to find a doctor? Use our Find a Doctor online tool or call 1-800-516-3658 for a physician referral.