So it’s January. And if you are anything like me, you are happily leaving December behind with all of its (wonderful) holiday feasting and looking to clean it up in the new year. For many of us the new year brings a sense of new opportunity for achieving healthy behaviors. Read more about realistic behavior change and how to successfully knock out those resolutions here.
If it’s diet (read the way you eat) that you’re looking to modify or just tighten down, here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction.
Make the Rules
Decide exactly what you want to do or change and be specific. Identifying that you want to eat better is great! It just doesn’t always hold up under pressure. Hunger + Break Room Donuts = Derailment. If you are doing a specific diet (ie. Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Whole 30) the parameters are laid out for you. If you are trailblazing, go ahead and make yourself a map. Say: when, where and how much you will tighten down or modify.
Shop Til You Drop
Once you’ve staked your claim on the road ahead, make a list of foods that you will have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and go get em! Having all of your food on hand will make your healthy eating efforts not only a possibility but a reality.
Plan on it
Even if you are not a planner, plan. Pulling tomorrow night’s dinner out of the freezer today will make dialing 716-PIZZA after work a lot less likely. The same is true for snacks, stashing a snack for when a meeting runs long is a fool proof plan. As the saying goes, an apple-a-day keeps vending machines away.
Thirst sometimes masquerades as hunger. To know the difference, drink a cup of water first and if you’re satiated, problem solved. If hunger persists, you’ll know it’s the real deal.
Having a friend in your foxhole is never a bad idea, particularly when you are battling the sugar demons. Being accountable for your choices or just having someone to commiserate with and celebrate your successes goes a long way in supporting your efforts and ultimately achieving your goal.
Remember that even small improvements count toward creating a healthier, happier you! Even if you aren’t looking to completely overhaul your nutrition patterns in the new year, small choices and behavior changes can often have long term benefits and significant health gains.
Good luck and Delicious Eating to you!