Ok. New Year’s is done. The holidays are coming to a close. I hear so many people talking about trying to lose weight and feel better, it must be time to make some adjustments. Do you need some help getting started? Well, here are 5 tips to jump start a healthier diet in the new year. The following is my opinion only and hopefully serves as a guideline. You should always discuss diet changes with your doctor.
- You need to decide all or nothing; not me. Many people start diets or cleanses the first week of January. Some people don’t do well with drastic changes; others do. Decide what’s best for you and how you will be most successful. Maybe it’s small changes or maybe you have to go all in. Start with that. I have found for myself, a gentle transition is best then I can go more “hard core”. Pick a day. Pick a strategy and go for it.
- Planning is the next step. Again, you might decide to follow a plan strict-strict or your plan might just be to cut down on sugar or carbs. Either way, plan out meals 3 days in advance. Believe me, this will be much easier. Use your meal plans to make your shopping lists.
- Shop smart. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry or you will likely buy more than you need or buy things you probably shouldn’t. Look for convenience items like pre-cut veggies. Ask the butcher in the grocery store to cut or trim meats. For example, many butchers will cut chicken breast into cutlets. Cutlets will cook much quicker and will stay moist if not overcooked. The meat guys can also trim fat off of a roast if you’d like.
- I’m a believer in fat but healthy fat. Choose wisely. And refined sugar? Well, do your research. The less, the better in my opinion. Try to avoid sugar-free foods. Eat foods that aren’t sweet. If you are having a craving, try small pieces of dark chocolate or a scoop of almond butter.
- Try to eat a vegetable and/or fruit with EVERY meal. Yes, I said it, every. Fruits and veggies provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. Pick fruits that aren’t too sweet. Fructose is still a form of sugar. Maybe consider having a few meals with mostly vegetables and small amounts of protein and grains. You might find the smaller amounts of carbs you eat might keep you full longer.
Ready to get started? Here are some ideas to get you going:
Breakfast-Stick to protein like eggs, breakfast sausage (again, check the sugar; nothing too high), or salmon. Avoid cereal and anything that might taste better with syrup. Maybe have a high protein smoothie. Add some veggies to your eggs or sausage. Try to get out of the habit of toast. Just try it!
- Lunch-Another opportunity to adjust your perspective. Instead of a sandwich, hold the bread and eat just the meat. Better yet, have a salad but with lots of protein to keep you full.
- Dinner-Try to make this the lightest meal of your day so it’s easy for you to digest. Again, veggies and meat or beans. Keep the dairy and cheese to a minimum and avoid carbs if you can.
- Snacks-apple slices, almond butter, veggies with salsa, cucumber slices with salmon, herbal tea, or a hard boiled egg. Figure out what you like. The same rules apply.
On that note, let’s get you started with some recipes! Enjoy. It’s a new year and a new you.
- Crustless quiche (you can skip the flour altogether)
- Chard and quinoa salad
- Vegetable and bean soup (the veggies should be the main attraction here)
- Salmon with cilantro pesto
- Curried cauliflower with peas
- Eggplant zucchini bolognese paleo lasagna
If you need more ideas or recipes, just pop over to my blog You might be inspired!