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Changing Your Eating Habits

Changing Your Eating Habits

By Cindy Milner, RD

If you have a health problem that requires you to modify your lifestyle and change the way you eat, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed. Change is difficult, particularly around issues related to food. The good news is that there are caring professionals in this community with experience helping people like you initiate and sustain healthy changes. 

Diet is a key factor in the onset of many health problems, among them type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, joint pain, and metabolic syndrome. To successfully change your diet you must first learn how to make healthy food choices and then begin to incorporate them into your busy life.

Who can I turn to for help?

Working with a registered dietitian is a great place to start. Dietitians are experts in nutrition counseling, menu planning, and portion control. We help our clients create eating plans that incorporate individual food preferences and healthful food preparation. We often begin by asking our clients to keep a food log so we can get a clear idea of your current diet. This way we can help you figure out how to improve it and what will work best for you.

If your goals are to eat more healthfully, become more active, and lose weight, you might benefit from classes offered through the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living (CCHL). Located at the Island Health Center, CCHL can provide you with a team approach to improving your overall health. Our physicians, nurse practitioners, cardiac nurses, and dietitians are very experienced in helping people manage chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and become more fit.

What classes do you recommend?

CCHL offers a number of classes to help people eat more healthfully and lose weight. There are a lot of misconceptions about what is good for you. Our Healthy Living classes address those misconceptions and focus on achieving a healthy diet and regular exercise habits. We also explore disease prevention and stress-coping skills.

Cardiac rehabilitation classes at CCHL include education on nutrition, food shopping and meal preparation, in addition to telemetry-monitored exercise classes for individuals with heart problems. People in our diabetes education classes get a comprehensive overview of diabetes and learn how to effectively manage their disease. We also work with bariatric (weight-loss) surgery patients both before and after their surgery. Prior to surgery, we help them modify their diets and lifestyle to be more healthy. After the surgery, we provide follow-up, support, and education about food choices and portion sizes.

What we eat affects each organ and every part of our body. Our diet has an impact on our risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you need help changing your diet and your lifestyle, find out more about the resources available in your community. At CCHL, we use science-based approaches supported by the latest research. Our philosophy is one of slow, sustainable change because we have found that quick fixes don’t work for long.

To find out more about the services and classes available at the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living, please call (607) 252-3590.

Cindy Milner is a registered dietitian and a certified dietitian nutritionist who is also a certified specialist in sports dietetics. She is on the staff of Cayuga Medical Center’s Cayuga Center for Healthy Living, where she can be reached at (607) 252-3590.

 

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