Eating tips and tricks for the New Year

Each new year brings great expectations…or great frustrations from having such great expectation! Food is such a common struggle that I thought it would be beneficial to address the issue.

Please help me welcome guest blogger, Hillary Monroe, MS RD LDN. Hillary is a registered dietitian and contributor for Everyday Health and its calorie counter tools.

 Welcome, Hillary…

Every new year, we are meant to reflect on the past, be with friends and family and appreciate things. After coming off of a few weeks filled with gifts, stress, crowded malls and tasty holiday treats, there is no reason to be stuck in a post-holiday exercise or over-eating rut as long as you do a little planning.

 

Here’s how:

1. Set yourself up for success with realistic goals.

This is not the time to expect to fit into your jeans from high school. It’s more realistic to get back to your pre-holidat, y weight and make incremental goals from week-to-week. Being honest with yourself about what you can truly expect to do right after the holidays will help set you up for success.

2. Get back to your routine.

  • Plan time for exercise and keep your body moving! Being active not only helps relieve stress but helps prevent weight gain (your realistic goal). Not a gym person? No problem – try 10-15 minute brisk walks twice a day.
  • Don’t skip meals. Skipping breakfast or any other meal only sets you up to be hungry and possibly tempted to over-indulge later. So keep your daily meals – eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite.
  • Keep your own pantry stocked with staples. Healthy snacks should be within your reach: dried and fresh fruit, cut up veggies and pre-portioned nuts are easy go-tos.

3. Keep cool while eating out.

  • First, decide what you’re willing to splurge on and what’s not worth it.
  • Second, pick your plate wisely. Studies show that people tend to eat with their eyes rather than their stomachs. If you have a smaller plate, you’re more likely to feel satisfied with less than you would with a bigger one.
  • Third, remember moderation and balance. Have those splurges you picked out but add some fruits and vegetables to keep your plate balanced.
  • Finally, once you’ve had your meal step away. It’s far too easy to graze if you have extra food in front of you. Do yourself a favor and remind yourself that starting off the new year with healthy eating will pay off in the long run.
  • One more thing – watch the drinks! Don’t forget that these add calories and can lessen inhibitions and tempt overeating. Don’t forget that the non-alcoholic drinks have calories too.

4. Plan your own healthy meals.

Use the internet to find lighter versions of your favorite dishes. Sometimes lighter versions provide a different healthy twist – this is a perfect way to steer yourself out of the holiday binges and into a New Year’s state of mind!

So with a little planning and some realistic expectations, there’s no reason not to count forming healthy habits as one of your top resolutions. Happy New Year!

Thanks so much, Hillary, for sharing some tips to keep our January in check!

What one thing will you decide to do today? Walk for 15 minutes? Eat a green smoothie for breakfast? Set a realistic expectation?  To stay organized keep it simple. You CAN do it!!

Tracy Hoth