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Get your food and fitness habits on track with advice from experts

Need some ideas to start the new year on the path towards better health and fitness? Here are 14 tips from registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) and dietetic interns. Try one each day for 14 days.

1. If you have a commute after work, make sure you’ve got something little and healthy in your bag (like mini packs of almonds) so that you don’t eat the entire pantry when you get home. — Bre Lynch, MS, RDN, LD, CDE

2. Sip a cup of hot herbal tea at night instead of snacking. — Leah McGrath, RDN

3. To get to the recommended two to three cups per day of vegetables, use frozen steamable veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. Pop a bag in the microwave, flavor with some butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder or other spices. Easy, fast and inexpensive! — Leia Flure, MS, RD, LDN, Moderation Maven

4. During the work week, try and stand whenever you are on a call, this can burn hundreds of calories in a week – Wesley Delbridge RDN, LDN

5. Eat every three to five waking hours. It’s OK to feel hunger and fullness. We are meant to have these sensations and should act on hunger. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for eating. — Eating Disorder RD, Libby Parker. Not Your Average

6. Meal preparation is key! …try to prep as much as possible the night before (or on the weekend). — Indira Patel Nutrition and Dietetics Student

7. If you must drink sugary drinks, fill up your cup with ice. This way you won’t drink as much. — Truong Nguyen RD

8. Walk your dog(s) or go for a walk by yourself, with a friend or a family member after dinner. — Leah McGrath, RDN

9. Make it a point to sip water between bites, it will help fill your tummy and reduce overeating. — Aimee Bert-Moreno RD

10. Do not deprive yourself from delicious treats, instead follow the 3-bite rule. Take (just) 3 bites of the treat you choose, this helps you indulge without feeling like you have overdone it. — Courtney Fox – Dietetic Intern

11. Start with one serving of fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack. — Laura Poland RDN/LD, Dietitian In Your Kitchen,

12. When eating out at a restaurant, swap a side of fries for some seasonal veggies or a salad. — Raven Szasz, DTR, Dietetic Intern

13. Follow the 80/20 rule — eat healthy 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent, you can eat/drink what you want. — Brooks Ford, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS LegitFit Nutrition, LLC /

14. Join a gym or fitness center, sign up for a yoga or dance class … find a type of activity that gets you moving and that you enjoy and do it regularly. — Leah McGrath, RDN

Talk to Leah:

Leah McGrath is the corporate dietitian for Ingles Markets. Follow her @InglesDietitian. Contact her at, 800-334-4936 or at

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