February 01 2010 12:00 AM ET
'People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.' --Author Unknown
This quote says it all! It is the day-to-day behavior that makes the biggest difference in our health. So if you have made a New Year's resolution about getting your act together on nutrition after an overly indulgent holiday season, go with those changes that you can stick to throughout the year. Start them slow enough to allow them to stick. Identify 'hot spots' and choose to change things that will make an impact. Here are some basic tips to get you started. Evaluate your current habits and build your own list that you can truly live with between now and the next holiday season!
>When visiting a fast-food restaurant, take the least healthy part of the meal and choose to build a different habit. Some fast food places offer healthier side dishes so that you can choose a salad or plain baked potato over french fries.
>Make dessert a special occasion snack rather than a daily habit. For daily sweet satisfaction, choose to bake an apple in the microwave or mix applesauce with nonfat yogurt.
>Take smaller portions and work your way down in portion size toward more reasonable amounts of food. If you are dining out, leave some of the meal behind or pack it up for later, rather than eating it all at once.
>Reduce or eliminate some of those calorie-rich, higher-fat condiments. Enjoy a fresh piece of bread without the butter or use a smaller amount.
>Find something to do other than to eat during free times. Take a quick nap, take a brisk walk, listen to tunes, read a favorite magazine. But don't reach for a snack while you indulge your body and brain in healthy activities.
>Concentrate on plenty of water as the primary source of your fluids. Juices can contain a lot of calories, so eat your fruits rather than drinking them. Stick with and savor just one glass of wine and then go with water for the rest of the meal or evening.