Year after year, the most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around health. Whether it’s getting in shape, eating better or both, many Americans have the intention of being healthier when the calendar turns. However, unrealistic expectations and the curveballs of life result in only about 8 percent of people sticking to their goals. Rather than trying the latest fad diet or depriving yourself of your favorite foods, being healthy in 2019 can be simpler.
Focus on your personal goals to determine how and what you should be eating.
If You’re Exercising More
When you start a new workout regimen, you may become frustrated when results don’t show in the first couple weeks. Real changes can be made to your body when you are dedicated to exercise – and eating right. Make sure you are doing the following:
- Eating Before a Workout: A fueled body provides you with more energy during activity. Otherwise, you start to eat away at your own muscle mass as an energy source.
- Eating After a Workout: Food helps energize your body and repair the muscles worked.
- Drinking Water: 8 glasses a day is a reasonable benchmark for most people.
- Focusing on Nutrition: Rather than processed food, reach for protein and fiber-rich snacks to fuel your body for workouts and have more energy during the day.
- Controlling Portions: We tend to eat more when distracted, so it’s important to focus on each meal to avoid overeating.
- Reducing Sugar Intake: You may not think about it, but there’s sugar in almost everything. Eliminating soda, alcoholic drinks and fancy coffees can lower your calorie intake from sugar.
- Tracking Progress: Log what you eat, how much weight you lift, how long you exercise each day, etc. to help keep you on track.
If You’re Eating Better
The term “better” is relative to the individual, so it’s important to set clear goals. Do you want to eliminate fast food? Eat more fruits and vegetables? Identify your goals before taking the next step to a healthier you.
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, it’s easier than you think to eat healthy. Start with these 8 small goals:
- Half your plate should be colorful fruits and vegetables. Make them part of every meal, including dessert!
- Switch from refined-grain to whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread or pasta.
- Switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk for less calories and fat than whole milk.
- Eat a variety of lean proteins, such as nuts, seeds, seafood and leaner cuts of meat.
- Keep sodium in check. There are many “reduced sodium” or “no salt added” alternatives, such as canned soups and frozen meals.
- Drink more water, rather than soda and energy drinks. You can add more flavor to water with a lemon or lime slice.
- Eat protein and omega-3-rich seafood like salmon, tuna and trout for heart health.
- Lower your intake of solid fats: Cakes, cookies, ice cream, pizza, processed meats, etc.
The bottom line to eating healthy is balance. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables, make small adjustments like water over soda and control your portion size. To find out how many calories you should consume each day, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.
At Colony Diner, we have gluten-free and vegan options on our menu. We also have protein-rich breakfast dishes, gourmet salads and heart-healthy fish meals. For great flavor without the guilt, visit our Wallingford restaurant today!