It’s a new year and many people have made the resolution to lose weight or simply eat healthier in 2015. But how do you accomplish such a broad and overwhelming goal. Joy Bauer, the nutritionist for the Today Show, recently shared some helpful and specific advice about how to start a healthier eating plan in 2015.
Goal 1: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
The first goal is simple. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into each meal every day. The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they can be very filling but they are low in calories so replacing that nightly slice of apple pie with an apple is a great nutritional choice. In addition, fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants, which are essential in helping to prevent cell damage. It can be hard to come up with ideas and ways to incorporate them into the diet so that you don’t become bored, so be creative. Try pairing your favorite oatmeal with some frozen strawberries, blueberries or even pineapples depending on what you like. Keep lunch healthy and light. Something as simple as adding roasted peppers to your sandwich or tomatoes to your salad is a good start. Focus on preparing a healthy dinner with plenty of vegetables. Enjoy that baked chicken, but pair it with a healthy vegetable such as spinach or kale instead of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Goal 2: Cook at Home
Try to make sure to cook at home for at least three nights in any week. This goal is important for so many reasons. Though fast food is convenient, there are so many hidden calories present in the food. Grilled chicken and salads may seem healthy, but they often contain so many empty calories. Extras such as cheese, sauces and even condiments contain hidden calories, and you may not realize exactly how many extra unhealthy calories you have consumed. Cooking at home allows you and you alone to be in control of what you are eating, meaning you control those empty calories, too. It also helps you to make sure that your whole family is eating healthy. Cook enough to have a healthy lunch the next day. For instance, fix chicken and spinach tonight and then add your leftover chicken to a salad or low-fat wrap for lunch the next day.
Goal 3: Get Moving Daily
Incorporating exercise into your daily regimen for at least half hour each day not only gets you moving, but it also helps you to be mindful of the food choices that you make throughout the day. Most people think exercising means going to the gym—not so! There are many different ways to work up a good sweat each day. Dance for 30 minutes to your favorite music or videos or take your dog for a 30-minute job to break a sweat. Think you’re too busy? You can break your exercise up into small 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Regardless, just make sure you get those 30 minutes in. Grab a buddy, or exercise together as a family.
Goal 4: Be Careful With Those Snacks
Snacking between meals is one of the biggest problems that many people face when trying to start a healthier lifestyle, and it is important to choose healthy snacks. Though those chips or cookies may seem like a great snack, all they really do is make you hungrier, which can lead to additional snacking. A true snack should be 200 calories or less and should contain protein or fiber. Both of these ingredients help you feel full. Healthy fats, such as those found in peanut butter or avocadoes, are also a great choice.
Goal 5: Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
Eating healthy should be the main goal, but everyone has an off day and that’s okay. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t let one off day turn into two, which then turns into a month. Indulge a little on your favorite holiday or on your birthday, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make certain to get back on track when the festivities are over.
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Joy Bauer Offers Helpful Tips for a Healthier You in 2015