Probably one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier. For some people, the goal can seem overwhelming, if they are the food providers for a family with different tastes. Below is a list of ten small diet changes that you can make that will have the most impact on your health.
If all these changes seem overwhelming, try to make one of these changes every 2 or 3 weeks, allowing yourself to make the change a habit before trying to add another. Good luck!
Eat more and different fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and fiber and are generally low in calories. Remember to mix up the colour of the fruits and veggies, so you’re getting a variety of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Choose better fats
Try to leave the butter and margarine in the dairy case and focus on healthy fats, like olive and canola oil, omega fatty acids in cold water fish like salmon and tuna and monounsaturated fats in nuts.
Drink more water
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60 percent water. We need water more than we need food. If 8 glasses of water is daunting, start with one glass of water at each meal and go from there. Remember fruit and veggies are mainly water so by increasing them, you’re increasing your water.
Eat more fiber
Fiber is what keeps you full between meals. You can get your fiber from fruits and veggies but also from whole grains like brown rice, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and oatmeal.
Practice portion control
Studies have shown that people will eat less using smaller plates, bowls and cups. Buy yourself a smaller plate and use it for meals. Put more veggies and fruits on your plate than anything else and you’ll find that you’re eating less food overall.
Eat fewer processed foods
Not only is this healthier for you by reducing fat, sugar and sodium in your diet, you’ll save money. Contrary to what some people think, eating healthy is not expensive – it just requires some planning.
Include protein with every meal and snack
Including protein in every meal keeps you feeling full longer, potentially reducing overall calories consumed.
Allow yourself occasional indulgences
If chocolate is something you can’t live without, then don’t. But treat yourself occasional to the best quality chocolate you can afford. You won’t feel deprived and will have greater eating satisfaction.
Eat homemade food more
When you make your own food, you know exactly what ingredients you’re using. Eating out will invariable include higher sodium, fat and portion size. Set aside a couple of hours each week for food prep. Not into cooking? Check your local grocery store for healthy pre-made (not frozen) options.
Reduce alcohol and sugar consumption
This is the hard one. But for overall better health, reducing alcohol and sugar consumption is worth the effort. Make these items your occasional indulgences.