Healthy Eating for the New YearJanuary 10, 2022
People typically make New Year’s resolutions which involve going on specific diets, but instead of starting a diet this new year, try these 3 tips for healthy eating and optimal weight management:
Increase Fiber Intake
“Fiber is your Friend!” Fiber can reduce cholesterol levels, manage or prevent diabetes, prevent against certain types of cancers, prevent/treat diverticulosis and increase satiety which can aid with weight management. The general recommendation for dietary fiber intake is around 25-35 grams a day. It is always best to look on the nutrition label to see how much dietary fiber a product contains as marketing on labels can say a food is “made with whole wheat”, but it is not the primary grain in a food and may not be a good source of dietary fiber. It is best to find natural sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. Try adding fiber slowly to the diet and spreading it out over the course of the whole day to allow the GI system to adjust properly to the increase in fiber.
Increase Fruits and Vegetables
If you are currently not eating many fruits and vegetables, try to set a goal to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day. This can be any combination as the color of fruit or vegetable provides the specific antioxidants. If you do not like many vegetables, try adding them to a fruit smoothie to hide the taste, sneak them into eggs, pasta or casseroles or sprinkle some melted cheese or seasonings over them for some added flavor. It is ideal to start the day with a serving of fruit with breakfast, a fruit and a vegetable at lunch and half a plate of vegetables with dinner. Fruits and vegetables can also make great snacks such as peanut butter and apples, celery with low-fat dressing or carrots with hummus.
This is one of the hardest things to do, but it is also one of the most important! One goal would be to know what is for dinner by the time you are eating breakfast. This way, items can be thawing out in the refrigerator throughout the day if needed. Meal planning can help with preventing any slip ups with grabbing fast food during the weekdays. Some people like to plan their entire week of meals ahead of time which will help with grocery shopping and limiting extra trips to the store. Packing a lunch daily or making lunches for a few days ahead of time can help control calories. If you can make extra portions of dinner the night before and use it for lunch the next day, that could be an easy solution to lunch options as well. Dinners can be the hardest to plan, so make sure to use your kitchen tools for help especially when you are in a hurry during the week such as the air fryer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, indoor grill or vegetable steamer. Theming days out can also help with choosing meals for the week such as “Meatless Mondays”, “Taco Tuesdays” or “Fish Fridays”.