Healthy New Years Resolutions: Eating Right
With New Years right around the corner, people are gearing up to make resolutions that leave them happier and healthier. One of the most common targets is diet. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, improve your physical health, and live a longer life, then let’s talk about eating right. How can you improve your diet, eat healthily, and make healthy New Years resolutions this year?
Skip the Refined Bread and Go With Whole-Grain Bread Instead
One of the top ways to start eating right is to eliminate refined bread from your diet. Refined bread is made up of simple carbs, meaning that they have been stripped of fiber, bran, and other vital nutrients. Some of the most common examples of refined grains include:
- White rice
- Sweet desserts
- Pizza dough
- Certain types of pasta
- White flour
Instead of choosing refined bread, reach for whole-grain bread at the grocery store. Besides looking less “white” in color, whole-grain bread is usually conspicuously labeled as such. Many of these whole-grain breads taste better than refined bread!
Of course, the biggest reason you should use whole-grain bread instead of refined bread is that it’s better for your health. For example, one study looked at more than 70,000 participants who ate whole-grain bread in varying amounts. Results from a study published in Annals of Epidemiology showed that those who ate whole-grains regularly were at a much lower risk of developing metabolic disorders.
Another study took a look at whole-grain and its impact on the health of children. It was revealed that whole-grain bread reduced a wide variety of markers of inflammation in children in a study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Finally, a third study published in BMJ took a closer look at whole-grain consumption and heart health. The study found that regular intake of whole-grain bread is associated with a reduced risk of chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular complications.
If you would like to start eating right, kick out the refined grains as one of your healthy New Year’s resolutions. Read the nutrition labels carefully because some bread types are a mix of whole grains and refined grains. Also, reach for bread that contains whole seeds as an added health boost!
The real driving difference between whole and refined grains is nutritional quality. When eating right to lose weight you want the best nutrition possible, which is something the experts at Noom understand completely. The entire program is designed around choosing foods with the best nutritional impact for the lowest calorie density. Check it out with a free trial offer today!
Take a List to the Grocery Store and Stick To It
Most people make a list before they go to the grocery store; however, they forget the list pinned to the refrigerator and try to shop from memory. When you go to the grocery store without a list, you could fall victim to impulse buying. If you have ever walked down the aisle and some flashy packaging caught your eye, you know what this is like. And, if you happen to shop while hungry, it gets even harder!
To eliminate this, make a list before you walk out the door to the grocery store. When you realize you are starting to run out of healthy ingredients, sit down, and make a list of everything you need to buy. It’s helpful to plan out your meals for the week and make sure you have everything you need. Try to make a list on your phone or take a picture of a handwritten list, so you don’t forget it at home.
When you get to the store, stick to your list. Ignore the flashy packaging and try to avoid shopping while hungry to make it easier to fight back against your impulses. You might consider shopping in the evening after dinner. When you adopt this as one of your healthy New Years resolutions, you make it easier to stick to your goals.
Replace Sweetened Yogurt with Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein. And, some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D and other vitamins. It’s easy to see why some doctors recommend eating yogurt regularly; however, too many popular yogurt brands have been pumped up with a bunch of sugar. Because excess sugar can lead to chronic health problems, people are choosing Greek yogurt instead.
Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt. When Greek yogurt is being made, it’s put through a strainer to remove the excess whey. Whey is the watery part of milk. The process helps to concentrate the nutritious part of the yogurt. The result is that Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than regular yogurt.
The nutrition facts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that Greek yogurt contains up to 9 grams of protein per 100g serving. Medical studies, including one published in the British Journal of Nutrition, have shown that eating more protein can help you feel fuller for longer. The result is that you eat fewer calories overall, helping you eat right and lose weight.
The straining process for Greek yogurt also sheds a lot of the carbs found in traditional types of yogurt. Much of the lactose is removed during the straining process, which is the sugar found in milk. Therefore, if you are trying to follow a low-carb diet, you can easily replace regular yogurt with Greek yogurt and quickly drop your carb intake.
For all of these reasons, consider replacing traditional yogurt with Greek yogurt if you are wondering how to start eating right. When you are at the store, try to pick Greek yogurt that isn’t flavored or combined with pretzels or chocolate chips. Many flavored varieties feature added sugar that you are trying to avoid.
Include a Vegetable with your Breakfast
When you think about breakfast, what do you usually eat? Do you reach for a bowl of cereal? Grab something frozen and throw it in the microwave as you go through your morning routine? Perhaps you don’t even eat breakfast at all and walk out the door with a coffee in hand! If you want to start eating right, you need to eat breakfast in the morning because it will get your metabolism going, according to Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.
When deciding what to eat, maybe you are thinking about eggs, bacon, and potatoes. You might even add a cup of Greek yogurt! Why not add a vegetable? Most people don’t eat veggies with breakfast, but they are crucial for overall nutrition and optimal health. For example, spinach and eggs go perfectly together (Eggs Florentine), and spinach is packed with nutrients the body needs to stay healthy.
When you sit down to eat your breakfast, eat your vegetables first. This slows down the rate the carbs are absorbed into the bloodstream. According to the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, this can help control blood sugar levels. If you are looking for healthy New Years resolutions, think about adding vegetables to your breakfast.
Vegetables have the lowest calorie density of any food. That means they are packed with tons of water, so you feel full, but you consume far fewer calories than you would with other foods. Learn more about calorie density with Noom’s free trial offer today!
Drink Five Bottles of Water Daily
The sad reality is that many people don’t drink enough water. Drinking water is essential for every body process, including weight loss, digestion, and energy. Countless studies have indicated the numerous benefits of drinking water. For example, studies have shown that:
- Drinking enough water can help you lose weight. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at close to 5,000 records and found that increased water consumption, combined with an exercise program designed for weight loss, helped people reduce their overall body weight more than the exercise program alone.
- Drinking water can help you consume fewer calories. A study published in Obesity (Silver Spring) looked at individuals who drank water regularly, including before meal consumption. Authors found that those who drank water regularly, mainly before a meal, ended up losing more weight than the group that didn’t drink water regularly. Furthermore, over 12 weeks, the group that drank water ended up losing close to 50 percent more weight.
- Drinking water can help you burn more calories, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. This study found that drinking water induces an activity called thermogenesis in individuals who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. Drinking 500 mL of water increased energy expenditure close to 25 percent, meaning that drinking water can help people burn more calories.
Start with five bottles of water a day. Drink one with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, drink a bottle in between breakfast and lunch. Drink another between lunch and dinner. If you have an exercise program, you need to drink extra water as you work out to prevent dehydration. Remember that you can swap out soda, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages with water to help you cut out extra calories.
Bake Your Meals Instead of Frying Them
For healthy New Years resolutions, in addition to thinking about what you are going to eat, you also need to think about how you are going to prepare the food. How you prepare food can have significant impacts on your overall health. For example, if you are wondering how to start eating right, you need to stop frying things.
One of the most popular cooking methods involves frying or deep-frying when it comes to preparing meat and fish. Some people believe that grilling their food is healthier; however, this is not always the case.
Unfortunately, these types of cooking methods can release toxic compounds that end up in your food. Studies, including one published in Food Chemistry, have shown that popular cooking methods can release a variety of toxic compounds, including:
- Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
Additional medical studies have shown that all of these compounds are bad for your overall health. For example, studies have indicated:
- HCAs can lead to a variety of chronic medical conditions, particularly when they are pan-fried, per Food Chemistry.
- According to Food Chemistry, PCAs can also lead to numerous medical complications down the road.
- AGEs can lead to chronic cardiovascular conditions, which may damage blood vessels’ walls in individuals who consume them regularly, according to Cardiovascular Research.
One easy way to avoid many of these compounds is to bake your food. Whether it’s chicken, beef, or fish, it can be baked and still turn out delicious.
If you get tired of baking your food, there are other cooking methods that you can try that are also far healthier than frying your food. You can cook in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or even try a sous-vide if you feel particularly adventurous.
While you can still break out the grill for special occasions, you shouldn’t be grilling or frying your food regularly. Instead, use these methods sparingly and reach for healthier ways often. Healthy New Years resolutions can have a significant impact on how you feel each day.
Swap Out Your Dinner Plates for Salad Plates
If you are looking for an easy New Years resolution for eating right, swap out your dinner plates for smaller plates. Try the salad plates you use for appetizers for the main meal. It has been repeatedly proven that plate size will impact how much food you eat. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that eating your food from a larger plate will make your meal look smaller, while eating your food from a smaller plate will make your meal look larger.
This visual illusion’s overall goal is to make you feel like you are eating more food. For example, one study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine took a look specifically at ice cream serving sizes. The study found that people eating ice cream from a larger bowl ended up eating more than 30 percent more ice cream than those who ate from smaller bowls. Therefore, you may not even realize you are eating less food than usual; however, you will still get all of the health benefits of eating smaller portion sizes.
If you are having trouble controlling how much you eat, you need to make this one of your healthy New Years resolutions. When you decide to eat from smaller plates and bowls, you will trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more food than you are. As a result, you feel full even if you have eaten less food. That way, you still feel like you’ve eaten a full meal even if you have consumed fewer calories. This is one of the top ways to start eating right.
This is an excellent change you can make without much fuss and those are the changes that stick with you. It’s the small changes that matter most in weight loss. That’s why Noom works as a progressive program built on these small changes. Check it out for yourself today with a special free trial offer!
Cook Meals at Home as a Family
Another way to improve your eating habits is to make more meals at home as a family. This will accomplish two important tasks if you are wondering how to start eating right.
First, this is going to prevent you from eating out as often. It’s no secret that if you eat at home, you have more control over what you eat than you would when you go out. The vast majority of restaurants are looking for ways to make their meals taste better. That way, you keep coming back; however, this also means that their meals are often packed with salt and sugar. This doesn’t exactly make for the classic “healthy” meal.
You can avoid all of this added drama by making meals at home. You will know exactly what goes into your food, and you can limit salt, sugar, and fat consumption. Furthermore, if you decide to eat your meals at home, this will also help you save money! You may even end up with leftovers you can eat for lunch the next day, which is even better for your health and budget!
Finally, when you cook meals at home, you are also more likely to eat slower. When you make your meals as a family, you sit down and eat them together. As a result, there is going to be plenty of conversation that takes place around the dinner table. When you speak while eating, you eat slower. This is particularly true if you are still preparing a few courses as you start the meal. By eating slowly, you give yourself a chance to feel full. As a result, you end up consuming fewer calories overall.
Specific medical studies have even supported the idea. For example, one study published in Pediatric Clinics of North America showed that when families cook together, the risk of obesity among children is markedly reduced.
Families need to think about cooking meals together. This is one of the top healthy New Years resolutions that people can make.
Eat Your Fruits Instead of Drinking Them
It’s not exactly a secret that fruits are incredibly healthy. Fruits are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and plenty of water. Therefore, everyone needs to eat fruits regularly; however, for whatever reason, people like to drink their fruits instead of eating them. Maybe people don’t want to go through the trouble of peeling certain types of fruits. Perhaps they don’t like the feeling of juice going down their hand. Regardless, those trying to find a way to eat right this year need to eat their fruits instead of drinking them.
The reality is that fruit juice is not the healthiest option between the two. Many fruit juices aren’t even made from real fruit! Instead, they are made up of concentrate and sugar. Some fruit juices even have as much sugar as a soft drink. If fruit juice has as much sugar as a soft drink, it’s not healthy. Furthermore, because fruit juice is a condensed form of calories, people are at risk of weight gain and increasing their chances of developing chronic medical problems down the road.
People need to eat their fruits instead of drinking them. Remember that fruits are packed with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals; however, these nutrients are less likely to be found in fruit juice. One medical study published in Preventative Medicine showed that fruit consumption was linked with a reduced risk of metabolic complications. Another one published in the Journal of Human Hypertension showed that regular fruit consumption had been linked with a reduced risk of cardiovascular complications.
If you are looking for healthy New Years resolutions to make this year, decide to eat your fruits instead of drinking them. This can go a long way toward improving your overall health.
Swap Out Dried Berries for Fresh Ones
Speaking of fruit consumption, you might also be thinking of eating more berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. These berries are great because they are packed with antioxidants; however, if you wonder how to start eating right, you need to start eating fresh berries instead of dried ones. Even though dried berries are still healthy up to a certain point, they are not as healthy as fresh ones.
Dried berries are much more concentrated than fresh ones. This means that they pack more calories and sugar into a smaller package. This is because all of the water has been removed from dried berries. Even though the water is gone, the “pulp” remains. While this does mean that many of the nutrients are still present, this also means that you are going to get more sugar and more calories in a much smaller package. Furthermore, many companies coat their dried berries in additional sugar, which is another problem.
Instead, reach for a snack that is a little bit juicier. Consider going with fresh berries instead. Fresh berries are significantly lower in sugar than dried berries. Furthermore, they are also far lower in calories, which will help you reach a specific weight loss goal. For healthy New Years resolutions this year, resolve to go for fresh berries instead of dried ones. This is a quick and easy way to improve your overall health.
Touching back on calorie density for a moment. Dried fruits are extremely high in calorie density. This is because nearly 100% of the water has been removed, so all that’s left is solid calories. Noom’s weight-loss program uses calorie-density as a cornerstone to teach users how to choose foods that make it simpler to lose weight naturally. Learn more with the free trial offer available today.
Change the Oil You Use To Cook
You probably have many staples in your cabinets, and one of them is perhaps cooking oil. Cooking oil is ideal for preventing your food from sticking to your pots and pans. However, some oils are much healthier for you than others. Therefore, you need to think carefully about the cooking oil you use.
For example, regular vegetable oil (such as canola oil) is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which lead to chronic inflammation throughout your body, while also being very low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your neurologic system.
If you eat a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (meaning you eat more 6s than 3s), you place yourself at risk of developing several chronic medical conditions. For example, one study published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy showed that you might create issues with your immune system, bones, and cardiovascular system. Of course, this could lead to problems with your weight as well.
Instead of going with standard cooking oil, you should go with healthier fats instead. For example, you may want to cook with extra virgin olive oil. This is an easy, healthy switch that you can make this New Years. Furthermore, you might not even notice the difference in the taste of your food. Your long-term health will be grateful.
Drink Black Coffee Instead of Coffee with Cream and Sugar
If you are looking for a New Years resolution you can make this year, then why not pick one that has to do with one of your favorite drinks? If you drink coffee in the morning, the good news is that you are on the right track. Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages you can choose, and it has been linked to several health benefits. For example, it might help you protect your brain and your metabolic processes, according to Diabetologia. However, the bad news is that you might be turning this healthy drink into an unhealthy one.
For example, if you stop at a coffee shop on the way to work, many commercial companies add many unhealthy ingredients to their coffee. For instance, they might be adding syrup, sugar, and heavy cream to the mix. When people say that your morning coffee might be a dessert in disguise, they aren’t kidding. These coffee varieties add to the confusion and may force you to drink more carbs than you realize.
Instead of stopping at the coffee shop or adding lumps of cream and sugar to your coffee, drink it black. That way, you can limit the sugar and calories you consume while also enjoying your cup of morning joe. As one of the healthy New Years resolutions, you don’t have to give up your morning coffee at all! You can keep drinking it! On the other hand, you need to give up the cream and sugar you put into it. If you decide to make your coffee at home, your wallet will thank you as well. Just remember that if you drink coffee in the afternoon, you might have trouble sleeping at night.
Reach For Popcorn Instead of Chips for a Snack
If you are thinking about snacking in the afternoon or evening, you are not alone. There are plenty of people who do the same thing; however, you need to make sure that you do so in a healthy manner. If you like your bag of chips in the evening, there is a healthier alternative that will taste similar. Think about reaching for popcorn instead.
Of course, you also need to think about eating healthy popcorn. If you decide to pop your popcorn in the microwave, choose a brand and variety that’s not packed with tons of added fat and sugar. You’ll have to take a good look at the nutrition label.
If you go with air-popped popcorn instead, this is a great way to reduce your caloric content compared to the number of calories usually present in a bag of chips. You are reaching for something rich in whole grains, helping you reduce inflammation while also protecting your heart – something that has been proven in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Therefore, think about removing chips from your diet and swapping it out for popcorn instead. As one of the healthier resolutions you can make, you don’t have to give anything up! You can swap out your chips for something more nutritious.
Many of the foods suggested for weight loss are water-heavy, but not popcorn. In place of the water, popcorn has air. As an added bonus, this low-calorie snack is also quite a good fiber source. You can learn more about making changes based on calorie density to lose weight for the last time with Noom. Check out the free trial offer available to Dietspotlight readers today!
Resolve To Try One New Healthy Recipe Every Friday Night
Finally, if you are looking for a healthy New Years resolution that you can make this year, pick something specific to recipes. For example, make a resolution that you will work with your family to make Friday night “new dinner night.”
Every Friday night, you pick a healthy recipe, and you try it out. When you are trying to decide what to have for dinner, there might be a lot of frustration. As a result, you eat the same thing over and over again. There is a good chance that your recipes are on autopilot at this point.
Instead, try to switch it up once per week. On Friday night, pick a new recipe and try it out. Talk about it during the week with your family and throw out a few ideas. Then, when Friday rolls around, you should have something in mind. That way, you can switch up your routine and pick something nutritious to eat on Friday evenings without having to grumble about eating the same thing repeatedly. Furthermore, when you try something new, you bring a sense of excitement back to your cooking routine, which might also prevent you from wanting to eat out all the time!
Make a Few Healthy New Years Resolutions This Year
If you are looking for healthy New Years resolutions and are wondering how to start eating right, these are a few ideas that you can follow. Even though it can be a challenge to stick with New Years resolutions, the more specific you make them, the more likely you will have a plan in place to follow them. You need to take care of your overall health, and a new year can mean a new you as well. Therefore, take a few of the healthy New Years resolutions above and develop a plan to improve your overall health this year. When you take the time to focus on yourself, you are going to be happier and healthier.
You don’t have to make your plan alone. Check out Noom’s free trial offer today to find out how you can lose weight using small, natural lifestyle changes that don’t feel like you’re changing anything at all.
Noom connects every user with two personal coaches, a vast library of knowledge, daily lessons, quizzes, and some of the best research support out there today. Check it out and lose weight for the last time!
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.