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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Local experts talk healthy eating habits

Students+may+choose+to+use+the+ellipticals+at+the+newly+renovated+Rec+to+stay+in+shape+throughout+the+school+year.
Photo by Madeline Sambrano

Students may choose to use the ellipticals at the newly renovated Rec to stay in shape throughout the school year.

Implementing healthy habits in the new year that have lasting results starts with taking a relaxed mental approach that allows for mistakes, focusing on simplicity, say some local health experts.
Many resolve to get fit or eat better in the new year but find it difficult to reach these goals and maintain them for more than a couple of weeks. Jonathan Ortiz, level one CrossFit instructor with Sawed Off CrossFit and A&M allied health student, said he often sees people over-complicate the process.
“You just got to start, plain and simple,” Ortiz said. “If you’re worried about how you look working out, you want to reflect on why you’re working out in the first place. You’ve got to find your purpose.”
The same idea relates to dietary habits, both physical activity and nutrition require complete effort for success according to Ortiz. Some might get discouraged if they falter from their good eating habits mere weeks into the change, and their negative mindset causes them to quit entirely.
“There is definitely a lot of fluctuation allowed in dieting and if you have a bad day, or even a bad weekend or even a bad week,” said Victoria Shillings, product development coordinator for Functional Foods and Class of 2015. “It’s not like a means to stop or, you know, give up and start binge drinking or binge eating or whatever you do that’s your vice.”
With a degree in both nutrition and food science through Texas A&M University, Shillings said she is able to compare two different perspectives on food intake. She said  there is no need to completely cut out any one type of food in relation to dieting. Moderation is a way to keep track of the foods that you are eating and how much you are eating.
 “Kind of get involved in your cooking or take an interest in it, because then it becomes more fun and it becomes a lot easier, and you know exactly what you are eating,” Shillings said.
Meghan Windham, Texas A&M University’s registered dietitian spends her work day helping students get involved in the improvement of their diet. She, along with Student Health Services, offers a Grocery Store Tour four times a month for three months throughout the semester. These tours are designed to help students know what to look for when they are shopping on their own.
“We talk through different sections of the store and see what too look for, and this is a great hands on activity for them and any student to understand,” Windham said. “Sometimes we think we know what is healthy to buy, but it’s often more challenging when you get into the store and there’s five different choices of breads or 10 different choices of peanut butter to buy.”
Ortiz said becoming fit is just as mental as it is physical and learning that is a way to ensure long term success.
“I feel like you learn a lot about yourself as a person [long-term].” Ortiz said. “Again, in my realm of CrossFit, you know, how I workout, there is going to come time that it sucks and you don’t want to be there and it’s hard. So are you going to dig in and realize ‘Oh, there was an extra gear there for me to use and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was.”

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