Nutrition and Healthy Weight
If you are struggling to manage weight – whether it is to maintain, lose or gain weight – we encourage you to seek support from an evidence-based program or clinician to help you make healthy, sustainable changes.
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Planning Meals on a Budget
Here are some tips for how you can eat healthy on a budget.
- Plan Meals
Planning meals for the week ahead of time helps reduce last minute and convenience purchases like take out and fast food. Use your meal plan to create a weekly grocery list. This will help you stick to your budget and avoid impulse buys from end of aisle displays and the check-out line.
- Shop Store Brands
Store brands are usually just as good as name brands at a fraction of the price.
- Use Coupons and Shop for Special Deals
Clip coupons from weekly mailers, use store apps or go online to see what deals are available. For shelf stable and freezable items, consider purchasing extra at the lower price and storing it for later use.
- Shop Seasonal and Local Produce
Fruits and vegetables that are in season usually cost less and purchasing directly from growers at a farmer’s market can reduce the price even further.
- Start a Garden
You can’t get more local than your own backyard, easily grow staples like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and fresh herbs. If you have limited space, consider a container garden using flowerpots.
- Buy in Bulk
Bulk food items are usually lower in price because they avoid the cost of excess packaging and marketing.
How to Drink More Water
Water is essential for life and good health. In fact, 60% of the human body is made up of water. For example, water plays a key role in digestion, regulating body temperature and kidney function. How much water our bodies need can vary based on age, gender, size, activity level and even weather. A good rule of thumb is to stay ahead of thirst, one of the first signs of approaching dehydration.
Get more water throughout the day by:
- Carry a reusable water bottle to work or when running errands. For cold water all day, freeze the bottle the night before.
- Choose water instead of beverages high in sugar like soda, sweet tea or juice. Just swapping one 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda for water will save about 240 calories.
- Choose water when eating out to save money and reduce calories.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water to improve taste.
- Sliced fruit like strawberries, oranges and watermelon are also good choices to add flavor
- For a milder taste add sliced cucumber or fresh herbs like mint and basil.
We also get water from many of the fruits and vegetables we eat:
- Cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach and cooked squash are up to 90% water
- Bananas, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, carrots, cooked broccoli and avocados are more than 70% water.
Healthy Food Environment
All teammates can help support a healthy food environment. Consider these Atrium Health guidelines when planning to order food for your next event.
- Offer at least one serving of vegetables or fruit with every meal.
- Offer modest portion sizes. Large items, such as sandwiches and pizza, should be cut
in small portions.
- Avoid serving fried food options.
- Provide whole grain options when offering grain foods such as bread, pasta and side dishes.
- Water is the best beverage choice. Carafes of water, rather than bottled water, is the green choice. If a sweetened beverage is offered, provide at least one non-calorie beverage.
- Consider fruit in place of traditional desserts. When offered, desserts should be small servings.
- Provide vegetarian or vegan options if requested by attendees.
Atrium Health has worked with our vendors to ensure that healthier options like unsweetened beverages, low-fat and low-sugar snacks are available in each machine. These items are usually indicated by a green check mark. When in doubt, here are some healthier options to look for:
- Baked chips, Chex mix, pretzels and multi-grain snacks
- Healthy snack bars that are high in fiber and protein and low in sugar
- Dried or canned fruit
- Dry roasted nuts
- Trail mix
- Low-fat popcorn
- Water or other low/no-calorie beverages of your choice
Medical Nutrition Therapy
Atrium Health has Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists (RDN) available for outpatient visits to help you reduce your health risks through Medical Nutrition Therapy.
Teammates or family members who get an appropriate referral and are on the LiveWELL Health Plan can meet with a dietitian at no cost. Medical Nutrition Therapy is available only at select Atrium Health locations.
Learn more about
Medical Nutrition Therapy.
Weight Management Programs
A modest weight may help improve health and reduce risk of chronic conditions. When managing weight, seek a program or treatment plan that is science-based, safe and sustainable. Weight management programs available to teammates include:
Discover the 10 Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food, honor your health by listening to your body, reduce weight stigma and body shaming to accept that healthy bodies come in all sizes. This 6-week Intuitive Eating series will be offered several times throughout the year. Note: the book and workbook are recommended for the class but not required to enroll.
The next 6-week session will be available every Thursday, July 28 through September 1, 2022 | Noon to 12:45 p.m. Registration will be available here
Additional Nutrition Resources