The holidays are long gone, and it seems everyone is looking for new, exciting ways to beat the bloat. Statistics show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail before the second week of February, and that includes resolutions to eat healthy! I have to admit, returning to my normal eating habits is tough after several weeks of celebratory snacks (I’m look at you fried foods and cookie swap cookies!), but when I get back to healthier eating habits, my overall health and mood improve.
Several of my friends jump right into a cleanse or Whole30 type of diet challenge for the month of January as a way to reset their clocks. I prefer a gentler easing back into more nutritious choices. Whatever your method, we can all agree on a few points to keep you feeling your best:
· Incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Packed with nutrients and low in calories, fruits and vegetables can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. If you have been eating chips or crackers over the holidays, try replacing those snacks with an apple or chopped veggies.
· Cut back on (or cut out) added sugar. This one seems simple but can be harder than one thinks, simply because our American diets have LOTS of added sugar! Removing or reducing consumption of sodas or sweets is an obvious step here, but what about all those foods you thought were healthy, like granola bars, yogurt and fruit juices? These are some of the biggest culprits of hidden added sugars, so make sure to read the nutrition labels before selecting a particular granola bar or yogurt. If you are unsure, pick up a few different brands in the super market and compare the sugar content in each. Still unsure? Read the ingredient list. Items with fructose, agave nectar and corn syrup, to name a few, probably have lots of added sugar. And don’t forget that alcohol is sugar too!
· Eat breakfast. Do you find yourself hungrier for lunch on days you eat breakfast? That is totally normal! Eating a healthy breakfast helps kick start your metabolism, but it also can help regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day, helping you feel more energetic. Make sure you are incorporating protein into this important meal!
There are an overwhelming number of ways in which we can improve our diets, but focusing on one or two changes can help make the adjustment feel less overwhelming.
We want to hear from you: What are your favorite post-holiday diet changes that set you up for success in the new year?
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