Resolutions. They never seem to go away. Another year goes by, and millions of people are once again bound and determined to make some significant change to their lifestyles. Some succeed at this drastic change but most don’t. I have a challenge for you. Instead of making life-altering behavioral modifications, let’s do the baby steps approach! You ready?
Here are four simple things you can do to improve your eating habits, and your overall health, too.
The plan: Incorporate one change per week this month. And, of course, continue these changes throughout 2013.
1. Eat one additional fruit and vegetable each day.
Honestly, I don’t care what you choose; just add one new option from each group. Most of us chronically under eat fruits and veggies, so let’s do something about it. After all, we all know how good they are for us. It’s hard to find the perfect combination of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but fruits and vegetables always fit the bill.
2. Add protein at breakfast.
Most breakfast foods are carbohydrate-heavy, so try to add a protein source such as cottage cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, or even peanut butter (sure—we’ll count that too). The additional protein will increase satiety and balance out your meal (and help control blood sugar levels, as well).
3. Drink 4 glasses of water each day.
We’ve all heard of the 8×8 rule, but truth be told, everyone’s water needs are different. That said, every one of us would benefit from drinking 4 glasses of water per day. The rest of your daily fluids can come from other liquids and from the foods you eat too. Drinking more liquids offers numerous benefits, including improved kidney and bowel function, reduced muscular fatigue, and enhanced skin tone, not to mention the potential to help control calorie intake.
4. Add two vegetarian meals each week.
Try adopting the concept of Meatless Monday. There are definite health benefits associated with vegetarianism, but it’s clear that most people don’t want to give up their carnivorous cravings. So how about adding a few more vegetarian meals each week? You’ll add a bit more variety to your meal plans, as well.
What dietary changes do you plan to make in 2013?
Brian Zehetner, MS,RD,CSSD,CSCS, wrote this post for Together Counts™ on behalf of Anytime Fitness. Known as the “science guy,” Brian serves as the Director of Anytime Health for the Anytime Fitness Franchise System. He is a registered dietitian, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and board certified sports dietitian with over 15 years of experience in the nutrition and fitness industries.