Stick with Your New Year’s Resolutions: Improving Nutrition

  • January 4th, 2022

Interested in improving your overall wellbeing with a healthier diet? With more than a dozen eateries on campus, Bama Dining has you covered. Kristina Patridge, director of dining relations, said it’s all about creating long-lasting healthy habits, which will help you succeed.

a view of six students eating on the terrace at Lakeside Dining Hall
Celebrating small victories is just one way to stick to your resolution.

“Everyone knows that there are many benefits of a healthy diet,” she said. “Benefits of nutrition through food for students include increased energy levels required for mental acuity and wellness.”

Focus on Adding, Not Eliminating

One way to start a healthy habit is by looking at what foods can be added to your diet, instead of cutting out food initially.

“Deprivation or cutting particular foods out can cause frustration and sabotage your efforts for a new lifestyle,” Patridge said.

In the beginning, look into adding fruits and vegetables on your grocery list or by increasing how much water you drink. Small steps like these will help your body adjust to new changes, whereas cutting out items can cause problems like headaches and shakiness in the beginning. Students also have access to the Alabama Model for overall wellbeing.

Make a Plan

By being strategic and intentional with your grocery list you are more likely to succeed at improving your nutrition. One way to do this is by making a weekly meal plan.

“Plan ahead and think about what you will consume, rather than winging it,” Patridge said. “If you have a plan, and have thought about what you want to achieve, it makes it easier to accomplish. Celebrate small victories and give yourself grace if you have a not-so-great day.”

Although meal plans can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, it is a routine that will help you for years to come. By setting aside time to plan, cook and prepare, you are more likely to consciously think about what foods you’re consuming all the time.

You vs. The Scale

Many students looking to improve their overall wellbeing may also be looking into losing weight through diet and exercise. However, the scale can be a stress trigger for many.

“Eating a healthy diet will provide many benefits, and when coordinated with exercise, weight loss is often a result,” Patridge said. “However, the number on the scale is not as important as how you feel and your quality of life. The scale is helpful in measuring weight but does not describe wellness. Everyone’s body weight fluctuates daily, and muscle mass weighs more than fat, so use the scale wisely. Other ways to measure the success of your healthy diet outside of the scale include body measurements, how clothing feels, improved energy and endurance.”

About the Stick with Your 2022 Resolutions Series

At the end of Fall Semester 2021, UA News Center surveyed students asking what their 2022 New Year’s resolutions are. We gathered the top responses and spoke to UA faculty and staff experts to bring you practical tips and advice to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions. Find more advice on physical fitness, mental health and wellness and making friends while getting involved

Contact

Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, Strategic Communications, caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.