Eating well and losing weight are top priorities for a lot of people when coming into the new year. While dieting is not recommended by area dietitians and counselors, they said that teaching healthy eating habits can help people create the happier and healthier person they would like to be.


Texoma Specialty Counseling Licensed Professional Counselor Stephanie Waitt said while she is not a fan of dieting and weight loss solutions as New Year’s resolutions, she believes that healthy lifestyle changes are important.


“As a dietitian, I see many people with eating disorders and the holidays can be a really hard time for them,” Waitt said. “Living in today’s society, a dieting culture, around the holidays there can be a lot of shame surrounding eating. People like to indulge during the holidays and then they feel bad about it later.”


Wellness Dietitian and Food Sensitivity Specialist Susan Gleaton said that it is very important to move away from the number on the scale and make compassionate self care a habit.


Gleaton offers these 11 healthy eating tips


1. Take your focus off the scale and celebrate what is important to you. Be with the people that bring you happiness. Allow food to be a part of it, without guilt.


2. Before deciding to take a bite, take a moment to listen to your body. It is a wise vessel and will guide your hunger cues. How hungry are you? What kind of food does your body want or need? What will satisfy you best?


3. Now that you have tuned in to your hunger level and what you want to eat, take a moment to observe what is available. This will help you get what you want without over doing it.


4. When you set intentions, you will be more satisfied with your food experience. How full do you want to be? Do you want to be energetic or lethargic? Set your intention and feel great!


5. Balance the types and amounts of food you choose. Instead of eating a plate full of veggies (for example), give yourself permission to balance it with protein, fruit and dessert! When you give yourself permission, you eat without guilt.


6. Do you usually keep to “safe” holiday foods? Consider trying new foods this year. You know, the foods that call your name every year! Release guilt, receive variety, experience new foods and enjoy!


7. You are ultimately in charge of what you eat and moderation can be hard for some while others seem to willpower themselves away from food. Taste and see while also remembering your intentions.


8. It is easy to get lost in the company of others, events you may be attending, emotions you are experiencing and more. However, if you aim to pause during your meal, about halfway through, you can re-evaluate how you are doing.


9. Remove negative food labels and concerns about weight loss. Calling a food bad will only serve to make you feel bad, even guilty, if you eat it. This may leave you focused on food and weight while you miss out.


10. Plan to nourish your body well with the food available to you and plan to enjoy your favorite foods. Plan a supportive combination of foods so you are nourished well. Plan to focus on the joy of eating.


11. Not every day of eating will look perfect. Be okay with flexible eating. This may include last minute changes to the menu, impromptu gatherings, and other unexpected situations. Having a backup plan can help manage the stress of the unexpected but keep it simple.


For more information or to reach Gleaton, email skgleaton@gmail.com or visit her website at SusanGleatonRD.com. For more information, reach Waitt at texomaspecialtycounseling.com or call 888-659-7618.