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Around the Home: Small steps to stay on track for losing weight, becoming healthy
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It’s much too early to give up on your health and fitness goals.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve missed a workout or had an extra dessert. Just keep going.

University of Georgia Extension offers 10 ways to achieve and maintain a healthy weight this year. If you adopt one or more of these recommendations each month, it should help you stay on track toward your goals.

They include:

  • Eat a nutritious breakfast every day. You will be less likely to feel hungry later.
  • Drink mainly water and 2-3 cups of nonfat or low-fat cow’s milk or soy milk fortified with calcium daily.
  • Cut out the sweet drinks. Milk makes you feel fuller when you eat less food.
  • Have one cup of cooked, low-calorie green or yellow vegetable at lunch and supper. If you eat them raw, you can go up to two cups.
  • Bake, roast, grill, broil or microwave your food instead of frying.
  • Eat mainly whole grains and whole-wheat bread. One portion is the size of a deck of cards.
  • Eat fruit for dessert.
  • Make portions of meat, chicken or fish no larger than a deck of cards.
  • Eat more meals prepared at home.
  • Take your lunch to work as often as possible.
  • Get a total of 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Break it up into 10-minute segments, if needed.
  • Eat off a 9-inch plate, which is typically a salad plate.

* * *

University of Georgia Extension invites Georgians to increase their physical activity level in a fun, community-oriented way.

Registration for the free program, Walk Georgia, opens Feb. 1. Visit www.walkgeorgia.org and invite your co-workers, friends and family to join, too.

Walk Georgia has reached more than 50,000 people statewide since its inception in 2008. The goal is to reach 100,000 in the next three years.

Participants track their physical activity data online. During the spring 2014 session, participants logged nearly 30,000 miles of activity. Overall, Georgians have logged about 5 million miles of physical activity through the program.

Georgia has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation. The key to winning the fight against obesity statewide is local intervention, UGA Extension reports.

Walk Georgia, run jointly by UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, was previously offered at 12-week intervals in the fall and spring.

A $1 million, three-year grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation has allowed for a complete renovation of the website and the capacity for improved program offerings.

Now participants can create a profile and track their physical activity year-round. Users can create and join groups, and customizable sessions will be available.

The website will scale to mobile devices and be integrated with popular social media outlets, enabling quick registration for the program, the ability to share progress toward physical activity goals and to encourage fellow users.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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