A common New Year’s resolution is to start eating healthier. Eating healthier can mean different things for different people, but what is common for all is that is not always easy to change eating habits. While it might sound good to think about overhauling your complete diet, remember you don’t have to change everything.
Start with small changes as you begin putting your New Year’s resolution in place. The small change can begin by eliminating sugar from your diet or giving up your favorite treats. Don’t give up all your favorite foods, however, as this can lead to ‘diet fatigue’ and you could burn out quickly and return to your old eating routines.
These are other small changes you can make in your eating habits in the new year to help you eat more healthily.
1. Eat Fruit Twice a Day
Fruit will provide you with health-boosting phytonutrients. While fruit also contains natural sugar, having one to two servings a day is not going to give you too much sugar. Sugar in fruit is natural and will also provide you with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber- all healthy. Also, there are lower-sugar fruit that you can incorporate into your diet such as: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
2. Keep Meals Simple
Creating a plan for simple meals for the week ahead will keep you from splurging on last-minute take-out foods or unhealthy fast foods. You want to keep the meals simple, especially during the prep times, and make sure to include a fiber-containing starch, vegetable, and lean protein in the plans.
3. Increase Your Vegetable Intake
Experts will tell you that your diet should contain from two to four cups of non-starchy vegetables a day. If you are not a vegetable lover, you could try swapping out your chips for carrot sticks. Another way to increase your vegetables is to bulk up the amount of them in your sandwich or wrap at lunchtime. You can even try cutting up some peppers or carrot sticks and dipping them in hummus for snack time.
4. Plan Before You Shop for Groceries
One excellent rule to follow is not to go grocery shopping when you are hungry. Shopping when you are hungry leads to impulse buys. You need to plan before you shop by making a list, and then sticking to it. When you make the list consider all the meals you want to make, and make sure it has some variety. Also remember, you don’t have to eat a different meal every day, because leftovers can be incredibly helpful.
5. Eat Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains
White bread and white pasta are refined grains and lack fiber. Fiber helps your digestion and keeps your blood sugar regulated and does not make you feel full. Choose whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. There are also different whole grains, such as quinoa, bulgur, and farro that make healthy options instead of refined grains.
6. Don’t Use Juice Cleanses
Juice cleanses do not meet your health goals and you should not use them to jumpstart your weight loss as they will not help you adopt healthier eating habits. These cleanses lack adequate calories and nutrients and if you do lose weight when beginning to use, it is most likely just water weight.
7. Keep a Food Log
A food log is an excellent way to modify your eating habits. The log will track everything you eat and allows you to review it and ask yourself:
- How many times did you eat because you were bored?
- How many servings of vegetables and fruits did you eat?
- How many times did you snack during the day?
The log is going to give you an idea of what, why, and how you are eating and allow you to make healthier changes to your diet this new year.
Where to Learn More About Healthy Eating Habits
If you are in Houston and are looking for a nutritionist please don’t hesitate to make an appointment. Pinnacle Nutrition Consultants understands how your health is a serious issue and how important it is for you to feel good. We are here to help you take action and change your eating habits to healthier ones and help you achieve nutrition goals. Talk to one of our specialists today and learn how this year can be the one that has you feeling your best with new and improved eating habits.