Healthy eating…. It’s one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions in the United States, and unfortunately also one of the most commonly broken. The idea of changing your eating habits can feel like a huge deal, but it doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of what you love, or being hungry throughout your day! It’s also important to remember that eating healthy isn’t a diet, a 12 week program, or something you should do until you reach a goal weight – healthy eating is a lifestyle that will improve so many parts of your life, both day-to-day and long term.
Eating healthy is definitely an adjustment, but you’re more likely to succeed at keeping this promise to yourself if you change your eating style little by little. Below are some ideas that will hopefully inspire you to stay on track with your healthy eating!
Make gradual changes – don’t expect an overnight diet makeover.
While throwing every unhealthy thing in your fridge away sounds like a great idea, it can be overwhelming to undergo so many diet changes at once. If you’re too stressed or you miss your favorite comfort foods too much, it’s more likely that you give up completely on your plan for healthy eating. Start by eating a healthy breakfast, or replacing your mid-afternoon donut with a salad or some fruit.
Don’t think of certain foods as “off-limits.”
If you completely give up your favorite ice cream, cravings may tempt you into dropping your healthy eating habits! Instead of forbidding yourself from eating certain foods, try eating them less often or in smaller portions. Have an “ice cream day” each week, where you get to eat some for dessert, or cut your normal portion in half. This well let you continue eating what you love, while still improving your eating.
If you’re not sure how to change your eating habits, start by decreasing your portions.
Most of us are eating much more than we need to maintain a healthy weight. Decreasing your portions can help to lower the amount of calories you’re eating. Make this easier for yourself by using smaller plates, and eating more slowly so your body can recognize when you’re full. If you finish a meal, but you’re still not completely satisfied, try eating fruits or vegetables – the fiber will fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.
Breakfast is often proclaimed to be the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Studies have shown that eating a filling and nutritious breakfast can decrease the overall amount of calories you consume throughout the day, and it will also boost your productivity at work or school and kickstart your metabolism for the day.
Eating healthy can be a challenge at times, but the most important thing is to keep trying, even if you have an off day. These tips should help, and for more ideas and advice on healthy eating, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.