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
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.