picking a healthy fresh orange

Simple Tips for Making Healthier Eating Choices

In today’s world of readily available processed and fast foods, it’s more difficult than ever for busy people to make healthy eating choices. However, with more than two-thirds of Americans classified as overweight or obese, there has never been a greater need for a balanced, nutritious diet. If you struggle to make the right eating choices day after day, the good news is that there are a few simple tips you can follow to get on the right track.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Start by realizing you can’t make drastic diet changes overnight and expect them to be easy to stick with. Instead, set yourself up for long-term success by gradually transitioning into a healthier diet. Rather than giving up soda and sugary drinks cold-turkey, consider reducing your intake of them week by week until you’ve weaned yourself down to your desired amount.

Moderation is Key

When most people think of healthy diets, they think they’ll need to deprive themselves of the foods they know and love. However, this shouldn’t be the case. The key is to enjoy the foods you love in moderation. Allowing yourself a small snack every now and then (such as a slice of pizza or a scoop of your favorite ice cream) will allow you to fulfill cravings and avoid feeling like you’re depriving yourself.

Reduce Sugar and Salt

Added sugars and salts are a huge problem in the average American’s diet, with excess intake resulting in an increased risk of depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Make a conscious effort to read the labels on your food packaging and avoid excess sodium and sugar when possible. This may mean cutting back on your soda intake, avoiding processed foods (which tend to have lots of added salt), and choosing snacks that have no added sugar.

Eat Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Get the vitamins and nutrients you need while filling up on fewer calories by incorporating more colorful fruits and veggies into your diet. Consider replacing your typical starchy side of rice or potatoes at dinner with a large helping of roasted veggies or fresh fruit salad. Your body will thank you!

Eat More Healthy Carbs and Whole Grains

Many people trying to eat healthily think they need to avoid carbs altogether, but this isn’t the case. The key is to make sure you’re eating healthy carbs, such as those that come from legumes, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. On the flip side, try to reduce your intake of unhealthy carbs, such as:

  • white flour
  • white rice
  • refined sugars

Fiber Up

Last but certainly not least, load up on fiber; most Americans don’t get enough of it in their diet. Foods that are high in fiber will keep you full for longer and provide you with steady energy throughout the day. Getting enough fiber can also reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

These are just a few simple ways in which you can begin eating healthier and, as a result, feeling more energetic!

employee checking steps at work to maintain wellness

Planning A Workforce Health Promotion Program

Workforce Health Promotion programs have evolved from fitness, to health promotion, to comprehensive wellness programs. In the past, the focus was on physical fitness. Today, the focus has broadened to include topics such as nutrition, mental health, and chronic disease prevention, as well as the workplace environment, policies, productivity, and others. Additionally, employers’ Workforce Health Promotion programs vary according to workforce size, program scope, resources, and leadership support.

Experts agree that planning and designing a Workforce Health Promotion program is essential to ensuring the program’s success. Just as one would not begin a long trip without considering how to reach one’s destination, planners should not begin a Workforce Health Promotion program without mapping out where the program needs to go, and how it will get there.

Before embarking on a Workforce Health Promotion program, consider some important attributes of a comprehensive program identified from these selected planning resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Support from company leadership, unions, employees, and external stakeholders
  • Clear program goals and objectives that align with your overall company objectives
  • Continual assessment of information important to your employees, which can include health risks, employee needs, costs, benefits, productivity, and current practices
  • Policies that support healthy behaviors in the workplace
  • physical environment that provides employees with access to wellness practices and health behaviors
  • Employee services that provide wellness practices to employees
  • Systems and procedures that evaluate program effectiveness, return on investment, and alignment with business goals

Many business tools related to project management, process improvement, and problem-solving can also be applied to workforce health promotion design and implementation.