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?
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Linz @ Itz Linz says
I definitely need to be better about adding vegetables and doing food prep every weekend!
Courtney Bentley says
Def more food prep! I last minute it and always end up eating the same bland food week after week so this year it will be to try new recipes and prep a bit better! Thanks for sharing xo C
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub says
The glass of water trick is a great one. I find especially during marathon training often I mistake hunger for thirst.
Great suggestions and reminders, thank you. The food prep one is the greatest. Our meals are so much healthier on the weeks that I spend some time preparing on a Sunday,
yep! it’s amazing what a difference it makes!
She Rocks Fitness says
I love #3…I was just talking about this with someone yesterday and how we often mistake hunger for emotions or boredom. I am going to be more conscious of these feelings and give chugging a big glass of water a try. If I am still hungry, then it is time to feed me!
Fiona MacDonald says
Love these suggestions!! Meal prep has been something I struggle with, I meal PLAN but now with a 6 month old meal prep is JUST as important! Just love the concept of adding in healthy behaviours and not removing things…more of a winning combination!
i’ve definitely had the prep part come in useful since squish was born!
Deanna Segrave-Daly says
You have inspired me to make 2016 of more meal prep – an hour a week – that is doable!
you got it!!
dixya | food, pleasure, and health says
it really irritates me too when people talk about dieting and restrictions because in the long term, it causes so many negative impact. I talked about similar stuff on my blog today and pretty much shared what i have been eating lately because everyone thinks being a dietitian, you eat kale all day long and dont touch fries. I love these realistic approach you mentioned for 2016. Meal prepping is a life saver.
exactly! loved your post as well!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
I love the shift in focus here. I tell people all the time that weight loss and healthy living is so much more freeing when you stop thinking about it in terms of a diet or restriction.
so so true!
Elizabeth Shaw says
Well said! Great post- glad you snuck this in too!
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby says
Your amazing, this post is amazing! I ALWAYS tell my clients that, stop focusing on the foods you think are bad and you need to cut out and start focus on what is good for you and it will balance out! I’m so excited with this shift I’m planning to do a whole 52 week series of healthy habits like these!
ooooh can’t wait to see that series!
Heather Mason says
yes, yes, love this list Lindsay! So important to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Food prep is totally on my list for 2016!
it helps so much!
Alysia @ Slim Sanity says
Love this idea! I personally need to focus on the extra veggies in a meal. I’ve been slacking these days!
[email protected] Lord Still Loves Me says
These are all such great ideas! One thing I am going to focus on in the upcoming year is more fatty foods!
yay for healthy fats!!
Hannah @ ThisVeganWhimsy says
All of these are fantastic, but my favorites are the afternoon snack and drinking a glass of water when you think you’re hungry. Having an afternoon snack about an hour and a half before I go home from work has saved me many a junk food binge, and lots of overeating at night. Usually drinking water doesn’t make me less hungry, but at least I’m getting hydrated!
I’m horrible about drinking water, and really need to work on that.
Some people choose to only eat twice a day, or eat in an 8 hour window. It’s actually quite effective, and there’s a bunch of science backing it up.
Kimberly Gayeta says
I’m really bad with food preparations ugh! That’s why I always end up coking whatever is available in the fridge. I’m starting my water cleansing already and I think this food prep thing is what i need to wok out on. My holiday belly needs to say goodbye now! Thanks for sharing Lindsay!