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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | March 20, 2009

Winning at losing: basic tools

By 1st Lt. Sarah Mueller 779th Medical Support Squadron clinical dietician

One of the biggest things people can do to begin living better is to set one to three measurable goals this week.

One example of these goals is to switch to diet soda or water instead of drinking a caloric beverage. One soda has about three tablespoons of sugar, which means that if you are drinking one soda per day, you are consuming over 68 cups of sugar per year. Consider giving up the regular sodas, and limit beverages like juice, that add almost nothing but empty calories.

Another example is to limit eating out to one time per week. Due to portion size and unhealthy cooking, many restaurant meals average more than 1500 calories! This does not even include appetizers, drinks or desserts. On the day of the week you choose to eat out, make wise choices during the day. For example, have a bowl of oatmeal or high fiber cereal for breakfast along with an egg and fruit for a morning snack. Enjoy a healthy TV dinner or homemade sandwich for lunch, and have a low-fat cheese stick or a whole wheat pita with hummus before dinner.

Another easy change you can make is to prepare for those a.m. and p.m. snack urges and sugar cravings by packing a healthy choice from home. Yogurt, a banana with peanut butter, a protein bar or a handful of unsalted nuts will keep you full because of the high protein content. A cup or two of fresh strawberries or grapes, a banana, or even a fruit-yogurt smoothie will keep you full because of the fiber and water content. Sipping on tea or water will also keep you hydrated and satisfied. By choosing a healthy snack before the cravings hit, you are making smart choices easier and are getting more nutrients per calorie than with a regular old candy bar or snack pack.

Hopefully, you are able to identify some of your vulnerabilities and bad habits. What goals will you set this week?