Posted on Jan 23rd 2019
Have you made our your list of New Year's resolutions yet? If eating healthier is one of your goals for the coming year, you may already be experiencing some bumps in the road. Healthy eating is a difficult goal to stick to throughout the year. But you aren't expected to make zero slip-ups, and it's certainly not an impossible objective! Here are some tips to help keep your New Year's resolution to eat healthier from your favorite healthy restaurants in Utah.
Contrary to popular belief, you should actually be consuming grains every day to maintain a healthy diet. The key is to eat whole grains instead of refined grains. Whole grains have an abundance of health benefits, such as being a source of dietary fiber, reducing the risk of heart disease and obesity, helping control digestion, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller sooner, so you'll be satisfied with fewer calories in your diet. Making at least half of your grains whole grains every day is a game changer in your New Year's healthy diet.
Regularly drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated is essential in leading a healthy lifestyle. Many of us live chronically dehydrated, and in an attempt to rectify this we drink heavily sugared and carbonated drinks, resulting in only making the dehydration worse and adding unneeded empty calories. Water flushes waste from your body and helps your kidneys and lymph nodes filter your blood. It can also help you to feel full sooner, which can eliminate the extra calories you consume from snacks consumed between meals and extra servings. Making a goal to drink more water and cut back on sugary drinks will be a huge benefit to your health and weight loss. If you want some flavor added to your water, add a slice of lemon or lime, or a bit of 100% fruit juice. And there are more ways to get water than just drinking it: water-packed veggies and fruits can help keep you hydrated too!
Not all sugars are bad (such as the sugar you find in fruit and vegetables mentioned above) but consuming too much sugar has been proven to cause an increased risk in a variety of diseases such as diabetes and cancer. And Americans have been found to be ingesting an excessive amount of sugar on a daily basis. Cutting back on sugar can be a difficult and gradual process, but just remember that it doesn't happen overnight. Start by decreasing your intake of sugary foods (which can be surprising, such as ketchup and granola) and read food labels to see if sugar is an ingredient. At first, cutting down on the sugar can feel impossible, but over time your taste buds will adjust.
Even though they're fundamental for a well-balanced diet, most Americans are not consuming enough (or any) fruits and vegetables on a day-to-day basis. You should make half your plate fruits and vegetables every day. They're chock full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent some cancers, lower blood pressure, help with digestion, regulate blood sugar, and keep you fuller for longer. Variety is the key. Eat fruits and veggies in different colors (different health benefits come with all of these color variations), and explore the produce aisle and choose something you've never tried before.
A fast food dinner is something we've all succumbed to, whether due to a lack of preparation or giving in to cravings. But making fast food outings a habit leads to consistent meals that are full of extra fat, sugar, salt, and calories, and lacking in healthy macronutrients. There are ways to kick this tendency, though, in favor of much healthier meals more often. Try meal prepping for the week ahead to avoid last minute scrambles to find something for dinner, and cook nutritious meals at home at least a few times a week and give yourself control over what you're eating. If you do decide to go out, choose a restaurant with healthier menu options.
Skipping meals is meals is never a good idea, even if you're doing it in the effort to lose weight or on purpose to "save calories" for a bigger dinner. Skipping a meal won't help you drop those stubborn pounds; in fact, it's only going to make you hungrier, causing you to binge when dinner-time comes around and eat even more than you would without meal-skipping. Instead, try eating small nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day to satisfy your hunger and keep your calorie intake in check.
The hardest thing about making a New Year's resolution is figuring out how to stick to it. Sudden changes almost never last. Resolving to give up foods you love generally ends in resentment and a default back to your old ways. You don't have to suck the fun out of your diet to live healthily. A more realistic approach is to yourself every once and a while to something not-so-healthy (brownies, cookies, whatever your sweet tooth desires!)--as long as it's only every once and a while. Stick to the rule of following an indulgence with a healthy meal. Rewarding yourself from time to time will set the stage for long-term success and make the process less grueling.
It's going to be a tough goal to stick to at some points, but don't give up! Eating healthy isn't about being perfect with your dietary choices 100% of the time; it's about consistently putting in the effort to live a healthier lifestyle. With these tips, we hope you'll find it easier to keep to your New Year's resolution. Great Harvest is your fresh food restaurant in Utah that allows you to eat healthy without giving up delicious dishes. Come see us for a meal that will satisfy your goals and your appetite!