During the first few days of every new year, it is not unusual for people to commit to healthier lifestyles. Gyms are packed with individuals trying to burn calories and shed pounds. Give it a month, and many of those fitness buffs will be back on their couches, snacking in front of the television. An unfortunate truth, but not a guaranteed one.
Although life may get in the way, it is not impossible to keep food resolutions that result in a better diet in 2020. One strategy is to make a few painless changes that, over time, will become healthy habits. Consider making some of these smaller changes in your diet.
Drink Less Sugar
Many people don’t realize that sugar-sweetened beverages can pack on many pounds. Designer coffee at breakfast, a sugar-sweetened soft drink mid-morning, another soft drink at lunch, fruit juice in the afternoon, sweet tea at dinner, and a glass of wine later in the evening can easily add up to thousands of calories. Replacing sugary drinks with water can save calories and can quickly jump-start your weight loss goals.
Eat More Plant Foods
Plant foods and vegetables prepared in healthy ways are low in calories and high in fiber, which can provide a feeling of fullness that can prevent overeating. Filling half a plate with vegetables, a quarter of the plate with a whole grain food, and the remaining quarter with lean protein is a simple way to eat more plant foods. Eating beans and nuts is another way to add these plant foods to your diet.
Use Healthy Oils
Oils that remain liquid at room temperature are healthier than saturated fats like butter and lard, which are known to clog the arteries. Trans fats, like shortening, are healthy oils that have been changed by a process called hydrogenation. This chemical change turns good oils into a form of fat that has a longer shelf life, but unhealthy. Trans fats act like saturated fat in the body but can also raise cholesterol. For starters, individuals can avoid trans fats by consuming fewer processed-baked goods.
Keep Resolutions Simple
The key to maintaining food resolutions in the new year is being realistic when establishing them. Setting unrealistic goals is the fastest way to regress in your weight loss resolutions. To be successful, people need healthy eating strategies that will not leave them feeling deprived. Over time, simple dietary changes can help individuals reduce their risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.