A new year often brings positive habits and lofty goals. If you’re still working on your list, find inspiration in these four resolutions for kidney health.
Americans are eating more these days – about 20% more than in 1970, according to researchers. Cheaper foods, new agricultural policies and an increase in value-based pricing has left its mark on American waistlines. Restaurant portions have distorted what Americans consider a “normal” portion size, which experts at the NIH believe has contributed to the increase in average weight for Americans.
Luckily, a few simple changes can help you eat less and maintain an appropriate weight for kidney health.
- Use smaller plates to make your servings look larger.
- Portion your meals using measuring cups to insure you’re eating the right serving size for you.
- Eat your meals in moderation.
- When eating out, ask your wait staff to box up half of your meal before you start eating.
Commit To Drinking More Water
About 60% of the human body is water, so it’s no surprise that drinking more H20 should be on your list of resolutions for your overall health. Water regulates body temperatures, helps deliver oxygen throughout the body and flushes body waste through the kidneys.
The key to drinking more water for kidney health is to make it more enjoyable. Some ideas include challenging friends with a water drinking challenge, or track your water intake with an app to stay on point. Buy a new water bottle with an inspirational phrase, an insulated bottle that will stay cold all day or a bottle that reminds you to drink through a connected app. You can also add fruit, herbs or spices to your water for a lightly-flavored liquid treat.
Eat Clean Foods
Processed foods have been integrated into our diets so much that recognizing them may be a challenge. Essentially, processed foods are those that contain a variety of artificial ingredients – colors, sweeteners, preservatives and low-quality foods – and are not ideal for kidney health when consumed in large amounts. Some processed foods with multiple artificial ingredients on the label have addictive qualities, empty calories and little nutritional value, and can give you a feeling of unsustainable fullness – meaning you’ll be hungry again very soon after eating.
Switching from a diet packed with processed food to a diet of nutrient-packed clean foods can be difficult, but a few tips can keep this resolution for kidney health on your list. First, try replacing foods slowly. Choose one or two foods per week to swap with processed food staples. Replace soda and with “real” beverages: water, coffee, tea, milk or 100% fruit juice. Check the labels on everything you buy – if you buy a packaged food, make sure it has no more than five total ingredients.
Making small changes will add up, and overall help your kidney health program and overall health.
Exercise More Often
No need to join a gym to add more exercise to your lifestyle! With this New Year’s resolution for kidney health, you can start small to get the exercise you may need.
- Instead of driving in circles to find a parking space, park further away and walk.
- Take a walk around your office while you chat on the phone.
- Climb steps instead of taking the elevator.
Implement standing meetings with your teams instead of sitting at conference tables.
As your endurance increases, you’ll be able to walk longer and set more goals for your physical fitness.
With these quick tips, you’ll be able to make your resolutions for kidney health and keep them all year long.