New Year’s Resolutions

For many of us, the new year is a time for renewal and for a reexamination of our choices, large and small. The New Year is certainly a popular time to start diets and exercise routines, whether for the purposes of weight loss or in pursuit for better overall health. But, often, it is hard to keep to new year’s resolutions as the days, weeks, and months pass.

So, let’s look at ways to integrate your commitments more seamlessly into your long-term routines. Whether you're looking to lose weight, eat more veggies, or just cut back on processed foods, these tips will help you make your new year’s resolutions into life-long habits.

1. Plan for Treats

It is very important to stock your fridge with healthy staples, but if you don’t allow yourself any opportunity for some of your favorite treats now and again, you will find yourself overcome by cravings.

To make resisting cravings easier, make a plan for how you will treat yourself each day. Allot yourself a small, daily treat that can fit within the limits of your new regimen. And, if you find it helpful, you can also add one slightly larger treat once a week.

2. Keep a Food Diary

Keeping a food diary is one of the best ways to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need and/or staying on track with your diet. Use your diary to track what you're eating, how much you're eating, and why you're eating. Then, you can use this information to decide if you need to make any changes in your food choices or portion sizes.

If you are also adding more exercise to your routine, you can keep a diary for that as well. Log what activity you did, for how long, and how you felt before, during, and after. If you notice that you’re pushing yourself really hard in both the diet and exercise regimens, you should know that you run the risk of burning out.

You want your routine to be sustainable. So, make tweaks as needed to keep your new activities from becoming too intimidating.

3. If You Feel Hungry Often, Eat More Protein Protein is essential for your body to function properly. It helps build muscles, repairs cells, and keeps your immune system strong. Protein also takes a while to digest, so it can help you feel more full so that you don't overeat.

Try adding more protein to your diet by eating chicken, fish, or lean meat in small portions at each meal. Or, if you want a more vegetarian diet, include plenty of beans, nuts, and soy products like tofu or protein-rich pasta.

4. Don’t Skimp on Vegetables

Vegetables carry tons of vitamins and minerals to your cells, and most veggies do so with generous helpings of dietary fiber and not too many calories. They are really the keystone to a healthy diet.

The key to eating more vegetables is to make them taste good. Steaming is great for preserving the full vitamin content of vegetables, but sautéing veggies in olive oil and garlic can make them more delicious. You can also get creative by doing things like making noodles out of zucchini.

5. Include Whole Grains

Grain-based food, like bread and pasta, have got a bad rap lately, but whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients. They can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. They also help you feel full faster, which may help you eat less.

Swap out foods with refined grains, like white bread, for whole grain alternatives and your body will thank you. You can also try whole brown rice or quinoa as a side dish instead of white rice.

6. Drink Less Alcohol

As we mentioned earlier, if you're trying to make a change in your life, it's important to start moderately. That way, it will feel approachable.

So, unless you feel that you have serious a drinking problem, you should look at alcohol like you do other treats: something to be enjoyed in moderation. Choose how many glasses you would like to keep to in a week and what kinds of drinks, and then include alcohol consumption in your food diary.

7. Make Everyday Snacks and Dishes More Nutritious

If you are not used to eating healthy, it can be hard to figure out what to eat. Try starting with small changes that you can make right away. For example, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Including nutritious supplements are great ways to get more healthy choices into your diet easily. With protein powders, you can add both flavor and nutrition to your favorite dishes. You should also consider doing most of your own cooking, rather than ordering out, because then you have more control over and knowledge of your meals.

At Natura.Punkt, we focus on making healthy food easy to prepare and delicious to eat so it’s never a tough choice to choose nutritious dishes.