Certainly a good portion of the country vows to “eat better” in the new year. It’s hard, and many “fail” because they put themselves on stringent “diets” that cut out anything that remotely tastes like food. Some things can be given up without feeling like you are giving a lot up. Since I, myself, have vowed to “eat better”, I have been looking for ways not to sacrifice everything I like. Of course, losing weight and eating better are two different things, but usually one leads to another.
The simplest way to eat better is to watch portions. You would think this would be a no-brainer, but some people are confused as to what portions really are. On the back or side of the package on pre-package food is a nutrition panel. Look at the serving size. Some people are very surprised to find out that the serving size is much less than they thought. Case in point, a 20 oz Coke is 2.5 servings!
Switching from white bread to whole wheat or whole grain bread is a good way to start eating better. There are much more nutrients in wheat bread. The same goes for pasta. Switching to whole wheat pasta is much healthier that regular pasta. It is a little more expensive, and you will have to experiment a little because some wheat pastas aren’t very good, but with some you cannot tell the difference.
Cutting back on red meat also helps with a healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to give it up all together, but adding more chicken and fish makes a difference. You can also make some dishes bean dishes, getting the protein you need from them instead of meat.
Cook eggs (good protein) in Pam or a similar cooking spray. Change your oil to olive oil whenever possible. If regular oil is needed, use canola instead of vegetable.
Gain calcium from skim milk. If you don’t like skim, try 1% or 2%. You can also add calcium to your diet with natural cheeses, such as cheddar, and from yogurt. Some orange juices are calcium fortified as well.
Fill your plate with healthier stuff first before adding the less healthy. If you put vegetables and fruits on your plate, there is less room for fattier meats and pastas.
Eat breakfast. A cereal bar, whole grain cereal, oatmeal, eggs, turkey bacon, and/or whole wheat toast are all good choices. Eating a healthy breakfast keeps you from bingeing later on in the day on chips or other bad choices.
Speaking of chips, if you MUST have them, look for the baked kind. Again, watch the portion sizes!!!
Salads are good for you, but not if they are loaded with fattier croutons, bacon, cheese, and high fat dressings. Opt for fat free dressings and vegetables only. That way, you won’t over eat on the more unhealthy things when it is hard to judge a portion size.
Feel free to eat snacks!!! Just mind what you are eating! Fruit is always a good snack. 100 Calorie packs sold in stores are a good option. Fat free, sugar free popsicles are good when you are craving that sort of thing. Instead of ice cream, try a little sherbert or frozen yogurt.
Bake or grill everything. Avoid frying. French fries are just as yummy from the oven. Chicken tastes good baked, broiled or grilled. Utilize the grill as much as possible.
DRINK WATER!!! The more water you drink, the better off you are going to be. If you must have soda, stick to diet. Try to cut down soda drinking by at least half.
Just a few changes here and there can make a major impact on your diet. Implement a few changes at a time and you are well on your way to a healthier lifestyle!