“This year, my New Year’s resolution is to eat healthy!” How many times have you started off the New Year with such a positive attitude, only to give into junky temptations within the first few days or weeks? If you’re like a lot of people, at least a few! It can definitely be difficult to make permanent changes to your eating habits, but it’s certainly not impossible. Follow along with our New Year healthy eating tips to help you stay consistent with your goals.
Tip #1: Invest in Your Success Whether you need some help creating realistic healthy eating goals or already have a particular goal in mind, you should consider hiring a nutritionist or registered dietician. They can help you build a healthy eating plan that works with your preferences and lifestyle, making it more likely you’ll be able to keep up with the changes long-term. Plus, by paying for appointments, you may be more likely to stick with your plan. No one likes wasting money!
Tip #2: Keep Unhealthy Foods Out of Your Home Research shows that convenient, high-calorie food is one of the most common barriers to healthy eating. This means that you should keep these often ultra-processed foods out of your home, office, or anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Out of sight, out of mind.
Tip #3: Surround Yourself with Whole Foods If you’re keeping the unhealthy options away, then you’ve got to replace them with something! Whole foods, or foods that have been minimally processed, are some of the healthiest options out there. They include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, dairy, fresh animal proteins, nuts and seeds, and legumes. Not only do whole foods typically include important nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals, but they may also help reduce your sugar cravings. Therefore, by surrounding yourself with whole foods, you may be less likely to revert back to the unhealthy ones.
Tip #4: Make a Plan When Eating Out One of the most difficult times to stick with a diet has to be when you’re eating out, especially at a restaurant. For example, a study done in the US showed that most restaurant meals don’t meet the American Health Association’s Heart-Check criteria for healthy meals. This means that even the healthiest option on a menu may not even be that nutritious. In order to help get around this, it’s important to plan ahead when you’re eating out. You could try researching the menu beforehand to figure out what your healthiest option is, or even having a small, healthy snack before going out. That way you may be less likely to fully indulge in the often extra-large servings they dish out at restaurants.
Tip #5: Be Kind to Yourself Sticking to a healthy diet can be difficult, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip here and there. It is almost certainly going to take some trial and error before you figure out what diet works best for you and your lifestyle. Therefore, if you do end up eating a whole cake one night, don’t use that as an excuse to give up on your goals entirely. Instead, recommit to healthy eating tomorrow - you’ll be glad that you did!