If you’re like me, some of your goals for the new year may have to do with nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Making sustainable changes to your eating habits will not only improve your overall nutrition, but also stabilize your energy levels and give your body and mind the strength to take on any challenges the year throws at you.

If you’re looking for some realistic ideas for your nutrition goals, here are three practical ones to get you started:

1. Set up regular meal times.

Student schedules are often jam-packed and vary from day to day. With classes, part-time jobs and a busy social calendar, we are on the go so much that we don’t make time to eat! Over time, we can suppress our body’s hunger cues and it gets more difficult to stick to a regular eating schedule. This can wreak havoc on your mood, energy and metabolism. One of the best ways to get your body on track is to commit to regular meal times. Eating regular meals will keep blood sugars stable and keep your energy levels on an even keel throughout the day. No more spikes and crashes.

2. Focus on balancing meals.

Once you’ve got meal times down, it’s time to put the focus on keeping meals balanced. One of the best ways to stay full and give your body the nutrients it needs is to load up on fruits and vegetables at every meal. Aim to make half your plate veggies and fruit, then round out your plate with about a quarter plate of each whole grains and lean protein.

3. Be prepared for hunger.

Sometimes, life gets crazy and our regular routine is challenged. The key to maintaining healthy eating patterns is being prepared for when hunger strikes. Having healthy snacks on hand and knowing where to find healthy snacks and meals on campus will help prevent overeating due to extreme hunger at your next meal.

Which of these tips resonate with you? How will you incorporating one or more into your goals for the new year? Share your goals with us by tagging @ubcfoodie and @upbeetRD and let’s encourage each other in our pursuit of health.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Thanks to dietetics student Britney Lentz for helping to draft this article.

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