4 nutrition tips to help you stick to your diet goals for the new year
Nutrition advice is best when it is simple as it means making positive changes to your diet, even if it’s advice a few people follow.
With New Year’s resolutions, people tend to fixate on unrealistic goals that set them up for failure. More often than not, that leads to a cycle of fad diets, not a healthy, long-term change.
Here are 4 tips to help you stick to your diet goals for the new year
1. Set fitting diet goals
These five practical nutrition-based goals are recommended to form your New Year diet goals:
1. Boost your vegetable intake
Most of us don’t eat enough vegetables, so start small. If you’re not eating many vegetables, focus on adding 1 or 2 more servings a day. You don’t have to start eating salad for every meal to get a high nutritional benefit.
2. Swap refined, white grains with whole grain
Selecting whole-grain pasta, bread or crackers can boost fiber, which is essential for digestive health.
3. Eat more home-made meals
Try to cook just one more night a week with fresh ingredients. It’s a great way to cut back on hidden sodium and extra calories.
4. Reduce sugary beverages
Cutting down on sugary beverages is an easy way to remove empty calories. Start by trying to cut out three sugary drinks per week or drink one extra glass of water daily. Hydration is important for metabolism to function.
5. Avoid eating meat one day a week
Swap the meat in one or two meals for beans, lentils or tofu, for example, which are great, affordable sources of protein.
2. Avoid the usual diet traps
- Don’t make weight-related resolutions
- Concentrate on behavioral transformations
- Avoid trendy diets
- Set practical goals
Practical goals are measurable, and a timeline helps. For example, you could say, ‘For the next month, I’ll go to the gym twice a week.’ At the end of the month, you can easily evaluate progress. If you met your goal, you can set a new one. If not, you can consider what you can do to make it happen the next month.
3. Take your journey one meal at a time
Look at every meal or snack as a chance to make healthy choices. Make that choice the goal and not what you think that choice will eventually do for you.
4. Support your efforts with sleep and exercise
Sleep, activity, and nutrition are connected. Insufficient sleep can lead to increased stress. And that can lead to irregular eating patterns, late-night snacking, skipping breakfast, and unhealthy nutritional cycles in general. The same holds for physical activity.