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Jumpstart New Year’s Resolution to Eat Better

Jan 25, 2018

Jumpstart New Year’s Resolution to Eat Better

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The New Year is upon us! Did you make a resolution to eat better?

While New Year resolutions can be great launching points to create a better life, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed and not sure where to start once January 1st is here and gone. Whether you’re reading this just a few days into January or halfway through the year, it’s never a bad time to start eating better. To help you do so now, here are some common New Year’s resolutions having to do with eating better—and 4 quick ways to start following them today!

#1 Resolution:  Consume Less Sugar

Just about everyone understands that we eat too much sugar. Modern packaged foods are full of it, and added sugars take a toll on our weight, sleep, energy levels and overall health. So, cutting back on sugar is one of the best choices you can make to improve your health.

HOW TO GET STARTED NOW

Start by replacing one sugary food or drink item you consume regularly with a sugar-free option:

  • If you normally have a can of soda or energy drink, replace it with:
    • A glass of water—either plain or with a slice of citrus fruit or cucumber
    • Unsweetened iced tea, herbal tea or green tea
    • Unsweetened sparkling water
    • Black coffee or coffee with a few splashes of unsweetened dairy or non-dairy milk
  • If you normally have a pastry, cookie, or other sugary food for breakfast or a snack, replace it with another convenient whole food option like:
    • Sliced apple and peanut butter
    • Banana and almond butter
    • A Larabar (which is just blended up dried fruits and nuts)
    • Homemade smoothie made with whole fruits and vegetables
    • Overnight oats
    • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • If you usually use dressings or sauces with high amounts of sugars, replace them with:
    • Avocado or guacamole
    • Extra virgin olive oil and/or vinegar
    • Sauces made with unsweetened yogurts or blended nuts as the bases (there are tons of recipes online)

See our Sugar Detox article for more tips on replacing sugars in your diet!

#2 Resolution:  Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is a great way to start eating better and improve your nutrition in the new year.

HOW TO GET STARTED NOW
  • Have at least one piece of fruit or vegetable with each meal or snack.
  • Make this easier on yourself by cutting up fruits and veggies beforehand and storing in baggies or containers where they are easy to see and use.
  • Buy healthy dips that have cut up fruits, like nut butters, or with cut up veggies like hummus and guacamole, for easy snacks.
#3 Resolution:  Eat Out Less / Cook More at Home

This is another fantastic resolution for improving your diet. Fast food and restaurant meals are full of added sugars, sodium and unhealthy oils and preservatives. By eating at home more often, you’ll naturally reduce the amount of days you eat out and know exactly what’s going into your meals.

HOW TO GET STARTED NOW
  • Start with finding just two simple yet healthy meals you and your family will enjoy. One-pot meals like chilis, soups, rice dishes and healthy pizzas are good calls.
  • Look for simple but whole food ingredients so the recipe isn’t overwhelming.
  • Double each recipe, write down the ingredients, and grab them from the store.
  • Choose one night to make double batches of both recipes and store them in the fridge. You can divide them into one-serving containers for each meal.
  • Have those meals for dinner each week, and rotate meals every couple weeks with new simple recipes. Adjust serving sizes and number of recipes as needed for family size.
#4 Resolution:  Eat More Mindfully

Do you rush through most of your meals? We’re often on the go from one day to the next, making it difficult to even taste our food. But fast, distracted eating almost always leads to overeating and feeling unsatisfied, even after a big meal.

More mindful eating helps you slow down, naturally eat less and enjoy your food more.

HOW TO GET STARTED NOW
  • The next time you eat or drink anything, engage your senses. What do you notice about the look, taste, smell and texture of the food or drink you’re having?
  • Notice how the food makes you feel and try to recognize when you start to feel full. (The food will usually stop tasting as good at this point.)
  • If you notice yourself wanting food when you aren’t hungry, pause and think about what you trulywant. Is it sleep, a break from work, a walk? Then, think about how you can fulfill that need in a way that is healthy and loving for yourself.
The Bottom Line

Making any kind of new change requires time, effort, and self-kindness. Many resolutions fail because we feel overwhelmed by a big change and don’t know where to start.

Remember that nothing happens overnight. Be gentle with yourself, start small, and know that any resolution to eat better is a step towards self-improvement that will help you be your best self in the new year.

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