New Year New You: Better Eating Habits

The following posts are from our January 2014 series “New Year, a New You.”  One article will be posted each day in January to discuss building a better you.  Article topics will vary every day.  We will present various ways to improve your life physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally. Click here to view previous posts.

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Diet. Such a small word that can cause big stress. But instead of focusing on the weight loss plans or the wanna-have new wardrobes, or even the disappointment of maybe already quitting your new year’s resolution to lose weight, let’s focus on simple eating habits. Better eating habits. Healthier eating habits. Adopt several of these and be amazed at the changes.

1.      AVOID THE MIDDLE OF THE GROCERY STORE
Are you aware the middle of the grocery store is designed to make you chubby? The healthy stuff, like fresh fruits and veggies, are on the outer rim. The inner workings of the store are where all the bad stuff is located, like boxed and canned foods.

2.      SET YOUR SIGHTS ON FIVE
Did you know adults are supposed to get 5 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day? This is one of the easiest ways to eat better. Start eating your 5 servings today!

3.      SWITCH TO 2%
Whole milk is high in cholesterol and fattening. Make the switch to 2%, or, if you can stomach it, skim, and you’ll remove a few unnecessary calories and maybe even lower your cholesterol, without giving up the benefits of milk.

4.      GO GO VEGGIE
Please don’t panic and stop reading. Don’t think you need to give up meat entirely, but a few days a week, see if you can work in a vegetarian meal. You’ll save money on groceries and promote your heart health.

5.      AVOID FAST FOOD
To be blunt, fast food is disgusting. It’s loaded with fat, calories, sodium, and worse (like lethal e. coli). Ever see the documentary “Food, Inc”? If you watch it, you won’t be in a 50 mile radius of a fast food burger ever again.

6.      THROW AWAY THE MARGARINE
Margarine is one molecule away from being a plastic, so yeah, get rid of it.

7.      DITCH THE SODA
Soda is empty calories, plain and simple. Sure, it tastes good, and you might feel addicted to it, but try to cut down, or quit altogether. Chances are, you’ll lose a good ten pounds this year.

8.      CARRY A WATER BOTTLE
You’ll need to stay hydrated after breaking up with soda. Keep a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go, and get to sipping. And since H20 is good for every little nook and cranny in your body, you’ll be doing it a huge favor.

9.      EAT LESS PROCESSED FOODS
It is in the best interest of your health and waistline to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods provide little in the form of nutrients and are often full of chemicals and preservatives which can hinder your health.

10.  DO NOT AVOID FAT
It’s been said that cutting fat out of our diet is the key to weight loss, but that’s not exactly true. Cutting out saturated fat is always a good idea, but there are good fats that have health benefits. Monounsaturated fat from avocados, olive oil and certain nuts help metabolize fat and decrease “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good” cholesterol.

11.  EAT SLOWLY
Eating too fast not only prevents us from really enjoying our food, but it can also cause gas and bloating. Research has found that just by eating slower, you consume fewer calories which can result in weight loss.

12.  PACK LUNCHES
Pack a lunch instead of buying one. Homemade meals tend to be cheaper and you can control what’s in there.

If you’ve already fallen off the “lose weight” band wagon this new year, don’t beat yourself up. Just add some changes to your eating habits. Your body will be glad you did.

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