Yes You Can – Eating Better in the New Year

Healthy Eating Tips

Make Positive Changes to Your Diet Gradually

It’s a New Year and a New You.  While exercise is certainly a key component to helping you be fit and healthy, all that good work can be sabotaged if you don’t  pay attention to your diet.  But making huge changes in how you eat isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, just by making a few small changes  – and sticking to them – you’ll find yourself making big improvements. And since we eat every day, all day, making changes to your diet can have an immediate impact.  So here are your quick diet tips for the New Year:

1. Take stock of your cupboards – no you do not need to clean out all of the cheese doodles. But if your pantry is filled with junkfood, then it’s time to add in some more healthy snacks.  Looks for whole grain pretzels, low fat popcorn and dried fruit.

2. Set a Goal to More Veggies and Fruits – It could be a vow to have  small salad with lunch and dinner or eat piece of fruit every morning or afternoon.  Just these simple changes will up your “good food” quotient fairly painlessly.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast – Don’t skip breakfast.  You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by saving calories or time, but really you’re just creating a feeling of “starvation” that gets over-sated when you hit your mid morning snack or lunchtime.  You will actually make up those missed breakfast calories and then some.

4. Eater smaller but more frequently – plan on your three basic meals of the day, lunch, breakfast and dinner, but also plan in three small snacks in between to keep you going.  Make sure you plan these snacks with healthy food – low fat yogurt, fruit, nuts – so your “snack” doesn’t become a candy bar.

5.  Drink plenty of water – it’s good for you and fills you up.  And many times when we think we’re hungry, we’re really thirsty. So instead of reaching for that candy bar, try drinking water and see how you feel.

6. Go Whole Grain – just switching to whole grain bread over white will help you feel fuller.

7. Cut out refined sugar – just kicking the cola habit has helped some people lose weight – this includes diet soda as well, since even the fake sweetness seems to trick our bodies into holding onto calories.   You can also stop using sugar in your coffee or tea.  Learn to drink it black or try some honey or stevia – a natural sweetener.

8. Cook Light – Restaurant food always has way more calories than you think.  So try to eat at home more.  Pick up a recipe book or magazine that specializes in light food and get into the kitchen.  Make one or two big meals on the weekend and use these as leftovers or the basis for different recipes without the week.  Cooking and meal planning can be a bit more work than eating out, but this can make a huge difference in your diet and health.

So HotMamas you don’t have to make all 8 changes at once  – that’s a lot to ask. You can start with just one (my personal goal – a salad at every dinner and a piece of fruit in the afternoon.) Once you’ve gotten one small change firmly entrenched you can move onto the next one (my next goal – cooking at home, armed with a Cooking Light subscription).

Good luck – and share with us your tips for making healthy diet choices.

Try out new, healthier recipes. Foods you’ve never tasted before can also encourage you to stick to your new diet. You will find the array of healthy, tasty foods is much more than you first thought. You may even find making positive changes to your diet is the best New Year’s resolution you’ve made and stuck to.