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Instead of a Diet this New Year Try This....



We’re reaching that time of the year when the diet industry is at it’s all-time level of annoyance. That is: New Years Resolutions. Millions of people want to lose weight, work on their fitness or just eat better after the holidays and to do that they often rely on the latest fad diet. However, I’m here to tell you that if you find yourself trying a new diet each year, then it’s probably not working in the way you intended. There is another way!


It’s not that there is something wrong with you, it’s that these diets are not benefitting you long term. In fact, we know diets do not work for MOST people long term. Research has shown us, diets are not effective. In regards to weight loss in particular, most people that go on a diet actually end up gaining more weight in the future. Even beyond weight, most diets do not last longer than 6 months. This is because diets really focus on eliminating certain foods or food groups, making them unsustainable.


So this year, try something new! Rather than focusing on what NOT to have, set specific goals that result in you consuming more nourishing whole foods. Here’s 5 things you can do in the New Year to eat well without restricting yourself or attaching guilt to food.

#1 Notice what foods you rely on most often.

With what sort of foods could you have more variety? Do an “audit” on your current eating patterns so that you can set a goal that makes sense for YOU and your needs. We have to become aware of what’s currently going on to make changes that make sense for us. You can even do a food journal for ~5 days. Notice what patterns there are. What areas are lacking? What do you typically have as your source of carbs, protein, fat? Remember variety is really important for nutrition so see where you can spice things up a bit!


*Goal Idea: I will commit to varying my grains and starches more often by including 1 whole grain and sweet potatoes into meals each week.


#2 Focus on having more meals that are veggie-heavy.

Boost up the amount meals throughout the week that are at least 1/2 veggies (by volume), if you struggle in this area. Focusing on increasing vegetables in our meals can help rebalance our portions and ensure we’re getting in a variety of nutrients and fiber.


*Goal Idea: I will have at least one meal a day that is 1/2 vegetables.


#3 Commit to eating from home more often.

If you’re someone who often struggles with eating from home, this would be the area to focus! Eating from home means we’re more in control of the ingredients and the variety of foods we consume. It can be a lot easier to just order out some nights, but finding some go-to meals that are decently easy to prepare can save money and mean better nutrition. The best way to cook easy and nutritious meals is to get creative in the kitchen! Which brings us to my next point.


*Goal Idea: I will plan 3 dinners to have at home each week.


#4 Find new ways to cook.

If you’ve been cooking the same few meals for years, then cooking at home more or trying to eat healthier will feel like a challenge. We tend to make meals that are familiar to us or are similar to what we grew up with. While the old ways can be nostalgic and we can certainly still enjoy those meals, it’s important to try new things! Never before has there been so many resources for cooking! Find any cookbook or blog and you will have 5-10 new meals to incorporate into the rotation. One cookbook idea is Half Baked Harvest, Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard - this is great for *simple* meal ideas. Or another favorite is Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison, I love this one for different ways to cook veggies and grains but it’s also a great read about plants!


*Goal Idea: I will look up 1 new recipe to try each month.


#5 Enjoy food mindfully.

Think about how often you’re rushing through a meal or snack. Are you regularly eating your breakfast in the car? Or eating lunch while working at the computer? Instead of eating while distracted, try to simply enjoy your meal on it’s own as often as you can. Constantly multi-tasking while we’re eating means we’re enjoying our food less and not truly feeling satisfied or fulfilled after a meal. Aim to make meals an experience on its own. Even starting by having 1 of your meals be more mindful can make a big difference.


*I will take break for lunch to eat at the table.


I hope at least 1 of these points resonated with you! Try to go about food and health in a new way this year. Remember, it’s not you it’s the diet! So instead let’s focus on the behaviors around food and see how we can include more nourishing foods into our day.


Happy Holidays and have an awesome New Year!


Be well,


Rachel

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