Many of us start the New Year out with similar goals in mind: eat healthier, get more exercise, get in shape. Making the resolution to eat healthier is easy, but sticking to it can be tough. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean limiting yourself to fad diets or boring prepackaged foods. If you approach it the right way, a healthy diet can be flavorful and still include all of the foods you love–making you more likely to stick to it! So, here are some tips to get you eating healthier (and loving it) this year:
Color = Flavor + Nutrients
An easy way to make your meals healthier is to load up on colorful veggies and fruits. Fill your plate with leafy greens and colorful veggies, and your meal will pack a healthy punch of vitamins and antioxidants. An added bonus? These guys are loaded with fiber and will keep you full longer–so you’ll be less likely to snack on junk food in between meals!
If you do need a snack in between your meals, make sure it’s a snack your doctor would be proud of. Dried or fresh fruits, a handful of unsalted nuts, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese string-cheese, and lean lunch meat “rolls” all make delicious and satisfying between-meal snacks.
Go for the Whole Grain
Choose whole grains like whole-grain pasta, brown or wild rice and whole-grain bread over white bread, white rice and regular pasta. Whole grains will help you stay energized and full throughout the day.
Don’t Nix Breakfast
Breakfast is the meal most of us think we should skip, but it’s the last one you should be skipping. Research shows those who eat breakfast on a regular basis are better able to control weight than those who do not. A good breakfast also keeps you energized and focused throughout the day.
Fill Up On H2O
As simple as it seems, water is an important part of a healthy diet. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help keep you full, so you won’t consume as many calories at meals. Unsweetened teas are also a great option for those looking for some flavor.
Mix Up Your Proteins
Chicken always gets the spotlight as the healthy protein of choice, but there are so many others to enjoy. Try pork, salmon, tuna or even tofu!
Swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones in your favorite recipes. Oil can be swapped with equal parts applesauce in baked goods; low-fat cheese can sub for full fat; low-fat sour cream and low-fat soups can be used in place of full; and so on.
One of the most important parts of a healthy diet is to allow yourself to have the things you love, but in moderation. If you want pizza, only have one slice and couple it with a large, leafy green salad–but make sure you eat healthy the rest of the day.
How you eat can make a big difference in your health; it can lower your blood pressure, prevent and control heart disease and type II diabetes, help manage stress, and more. For more information on food and nutrition, visit our Health Information Library or give us a call at 972-547-8000.