Healthy Eating: New goals for a new year

Chances are you have already given up on your New Year's resolution. Here are some tips to power through this new year with a new diet.

Making salad bar vegetables food health 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Making salad bar vegetables food health 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Each New Year we make resolutions. The moment the clock strikes twelve, or maybe a few hours later for most of us, our “New Year resolutions” go into effect.
People across the globe promise themselves to spend less money, spend more time with loved ones, be more relaxed and get in better shape ... but the most popular resolution by far is to eat better and to lose weight. By now many of us are already struggling to stick to our resolutions, and we are just over a week in. So to lend you a helping hand, here are five tips to keep you on track to a healthy new year.
1. Don’t drink your calories

One of the number one resolutions on most people’s list is to cut down on their sugar intake, and the best way to do so is to increase the amount of water drunk. Think of it this way: A can of soda has almost 40 grams of sugar in in it, and most fruit juices are sadly not too far behind. So what does a glass or two of water have to do with this? Simple, every time you plan to go for a can of pop or a glass of juice, reach for a glass of water instead and you’ll easily be cutting out a few hundred calories each day and not to mention mounds of unnecessary sugar.
What’s more, most of the time you feel hungry, your body is actually thirsty – so the next time you feel like a little nibble, take a few sips of water to find out if your are really hungry or just plain thirsty.
2. Make a rainbow on each plate
One of the best ways to eat healthier and cut down on calories and fat this year is to ramp up the amount of greens, reds, purples, oranges and blues by eating more fruits and vegetables. With the “food plate” replacing the food pyramid, it’s much easier to understand how to decorate your plate with these colorful foods; however, many of us still disregard the power they hold when it comes to being healthy and staying trim.
Abundant in disease fighting vitamins and antioxidants, the majority of fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber, which keeps us feeling full longer.

3. Trim down on the (red) meat
It’s a common fact that protein keeps you feeling full longer; but if you are looking to trim down on saturated fats this year, red meat typically gets the cut. To stop you from feeling famished between meals make sure to get adequate protein. Now most of us know that cheese is high in protein, but did you know that low fat cottage or mozzarella rivals red meat.
Nuts such as almonds and seeds such as flax seeds are also relatively high in protein, in addition to being loaded with healthy (and filling) omega fats.
Last but certainly not least, egg whites. While most people think that the yolk has all the protein goodness,don’t discount the egg whites. With only 15 calories per egg, and cholesterol free, the white of one egg packs four grams of protein.

4. Cut out the rubbish
One of the most common New Year resolutions is to cut down on the junk food – whether it be chocolate bars, Swedish berries, or brownies we all have our weak points. And each year, we say that this year we will try to not eat as much “junk” food.After all, it’s bad for the teeth, the skin and of course the waistline.
However, this is much easier said than done. And whether you are at work or school, everyone starts to hit a low sugar craving point at some point in the afternoon or evening. So instead swap those late afternoon pick me up treats for healthier vitamin and fiber loaded dried fruit. While dried fruit is by no means calorie or sugar free (quite the opposite actually), it will give you that much needed jolt of energy as well as an ample dose of Vitamins A,B and C.

5. If you crave it, don’t ignore it
Everyone gets cravings from time to time. Whether it’s for a bag of salty pretzels, buttery movie popcorn or a bowl of Chunky Monkey ice cream. While it’s important to keep those cravings in check, once and a while it may be good idea to actually give in.
Numerous studies have found that when you try and “cheat” your body by going for the diet low-fat option, you end up actually eating more, and as result consume more calories and sugar. Once in a while it’s far better to have the real deal than opt for the seemingly “healthier” option but of course this should not be on a regular basis.