Instead of focusing on restriction, here are 5 healthy things you can add to your diet in the new year.
I know I said I was taking the week off but I just had to pop in and write a little bit about something that’s been on my mind lately. I saw my friend and fellow RD Shelly post something about this on Facebook yesterday and it inspired me to actually sit down and write this post since it’s something I think about every year at this time. With the new year rapidly approaching, it’s almost impossible to avoid seeing articles about new years resolutions, dieting, etc. While I’m all for setting healthy goals and manageable resolutions for the new year, it irritates me to no end that so many people focus on restriction. Saying things like “No more xxx in 2016” (xxx being a variety of things from gluten to sugar to dairy) is a grand aspiration, but in reality, it’s not always an attainable long-term goal.
I could go on and on about this, but instead, I want to just take a minute to encourage to shift your way of thinking and make an effort to focus on things you can ADD to your diet instead of solely focusing on taking things away.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. In 2016, I will add:
- An extra serving of vegetables to every meal. No matter what diet or way of eating you’re following, it’s hard to dispute the fact that veggies are good for us. Make an effort to up your veggie intake by adding some to your plate each time you sit down to eat. Throw some spinach in your smoothie or frittata at breakfast. Chop up some peppers, zucchini or radishes to add to your buddha bowl at lunch. Roast carrots or beets, saute bok choy and add a side salad to your dinner.
- A balanced snack to my afternoon. Despite what some people say, I don’t think snacking is the enemy. In fact, when done correctly, it can be a great way to help you stay on track during the day. A healthy, balanced snack can help keep your blood sugars balanced, energy levels up and keep you from getting so hungry that you unintentionally overeat later in the day. When choosing a snack, ALWAYS make sure it includes a protein source. Adding a source of healthy fats is also a great idea. This will keep you feeling fuller longer and help avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes. Try pairings like hard boiled egg + fruit, sweet potato + nut butter, tuna + avocado + crackers, etc. Here are 25 Healthy After Work Snack Ideas.
- A glass of water when I feel hungry. If you’re not good about drinking water throughout the day, you might find yourself thinking you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Next time you think you’re hungry, try sitting down and drinking a full glass of water before eating! Don’t like plain water? Try carbonated water with fruit, a splash of juice or fresh mint and cucumber to add flavor. Here are 4 Ways To Drink More Water if you struggle with this.
- A meal I typically skip. Whether your dietary goal is weight loss, weight gain or maintenance, skipping meals is not beneficial. If you know you’re guilty of skipping a certain meal, make an extra effort to make sure you’re eating SOMETHING to help fuel your body. Cook a batch of muffins or breakfast bars so you can eat breakfast on the run or double a dinner recipe so you can easily pack the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
- An hour of food prep each week. In my opinion, this is the absolute best thing you can add to your life in 2016. Food prep is one of the best tools for helping you stay on track during busy weeks. Having healthy options on hand makes it easy to throw together healthy meals quickly and with minimal effort. An hour in the kitchen on Sunday can go a long way during the week! Here are 5 Food Prep Tips For Beginners.
So there you go. Five easy things you can ADD to your diet for the new year!
What healthy change are you focusing on for 2016?