When it comes to nutrition, changing small behaviors one by one can lead to greater success over time. Your Plan for Health (YP4H), Ohio State’s employee wellness program, outlines six simple habits to change or maintain for healthier eating.
Starting February 20, benefits-eligible faculty/staff and their enrolled spouses/same-sex domestic partners can join a Nutrition Expedition for a journey to healthier eating. Throughout the six-week challenge, participants can track up to six healthy behaviors each week to earn points and prizes.
“Focusing on one or two realistic and achievable nutrition goals at a time leads to a greater chance that the behaviors will be adopted as a long-term healthy habits,” said Liz Weinandy, MPH, RDN, LD
Outpatient Dietitian. “Ohio State Wexner Medical Center registered dietitians partnered with YP4H on the Nutrition Expedition because we understand the importance of turning healthy changes into long-term behaviors.”
The six-week Nutrition Expedition will focus on six healthy behaviors:
- Food plan/shop/prep: Planning meals and snacks gives you control over what choices are available to you and ensures that you have healthy options and are able to avoid less healthful foods. Defined grocery lists can lead to more efficient shopping trips and financial savings because it minimizes meandering through the store and picking up impulse purchases.
- Fill up with fiber: High-fiber foods can help you feel full for a longer period of time. Additionally, there are many benefits of fiber, including helping the digestive system, promoting regularity and decreasing the risk of colon and rectal cancer. It may also help decrease blood cholesterol, control weight and improve glucose control in diabetes.
- Focus on portion size: In recent years, portion sizes have gotten considerably larger and research shows that this can lead to unintentionally consuming more calories. It is important to be mindful of portion sizes to avoid exceeding proper caloric intake, especially when eating high-calorie foods.
- Rethink your drink: It is important to pay close attention to how many calories beverages contribute to your daily caloric intake. Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages can add up quickly and may not make you feel as full. These empty calories can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. In addition to cutting back on sugary drinks, aim for consuming 6-8 glasses of water each day.
- Track/journal daily intake: Keeping a record of daily food intake will help you stay on track and give you a way to uncover your habits. It is also a quick way to share your progress with your health care provider.
- Hold the salt: Moderating salt intake helps to lessen fluid buildup. Consuming too much sodium can increase the work of the heart and kidneys and may increase blood pressure.
For tracking your healthy nutrition habits, YP4H points and prizes will be awarded individually and as part of a team challenge. Participants enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan can receive YP4H points towards earning Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) credits, which can help pay for eligible health care expenses. Participants not enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan can earn Amazon gift cards.
To be eligible for prizes, participants must complete their Personal Health and Well-Being Assessment (PHA).
Learn more about the Nutrition Expedition challenge, including points and prizes available.
YP4H provides benefits-eligible faculty, staff and their enrolled spouses/same-sex domestic partners with the tools and resources for living a healthy life. You and your family can earn rewards as you start or continue your personal health journeys. Learn about more programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.