LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - You can make healthier choices to eat right in the New Year.

WDRB's Keith Kaiser asked registered dietician Catherine G. Arnold for some advice. She specializes in the areas of weight management, diabetes management, meal planning, goal setting, and comprehensive nutrition and wellness education to enable individuals to reach and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Following a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, quitting smoking and managing stress can lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other negative health problems.

Taking your lunch to work versus eating out can save you money and help control what you eat. It could cost you more than $2,400 a year ($10 per day) going out to eat lunch. "Take out" meals can be too high in calories, sodium, and fat. Packing your lunch can help control portions.

Prepare you lunches over the weekend for an easy "grab-and-go." Make your lunch every evening either while making dinner or before bed. Set the alarm a little earlier and pack your lunch in the morning. There is no wrong choice!

Invite co-workers to "brown-bag it" with you. It will help with motivation and get others on the health kick as well. Additionally, cutting out the travel time to go out to eat will give you more time to have a relaxing lunch.

Don't shy away from healthy convenience (pre-cut vegetables, individual servings of nuts, baked chips/crackers/pretzels, cheese sticks). Pack healthy beverages also! Add fruit for infused water, pack a thermos of your favorite coffee or tea.

It's OK to pack a small sweet treat such as a square of dark chocolate or a few chocolate covered almonds.

This is a much better option than anything sweet from the vending machine or the cookie that might come with your "combo" meal.

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