It’s been a great year, and we want to celebrate by sharing 10 year-end tips for eating healthier with you to ring in what promises to be an awesome 2016. I’ve begun training for a marathon on the 1st of May earlier this week, and my goal is to get there totally prepared without injury, and to do something about revealing my ab muscles this year. Do you have any resolutions? If you do scroll down to the bottom of this page and leave a comment.
1) Drink water
This is simple, effective, and more necessary for your body’s best functions than most people want to believe. If you drink at least two glasses of water before breakfast, one glass before every meal, and a total of eight a day you’ll not only be hydrating yourself properly, but the water you take in before food prepares your digestive tissues as well as helping you to feel full by eating less.
There is a study that concludes that people at buffets tend to take more of the first foods they see. So, try developing a new habit of loading up your plate with the vegetables and whole fruits and grains first. You can even do the same thing at home.
3) Use smaller dishes
There is also a study that proves this out – I touched on this in an email earlier this year. I will post this information again soon, but research has shown that people who used a bigger plate possible in a buffet took 52% more, and ate 45% more food! If you could eat less by doing something as simple as using the smallest plate possible, isn’t it worth a try?
4) Try paying with cash
There’s a psychological component to forking over cash out of your pocket that isn’t really the same as mindlessly swiping your debit or credit card. A research finding backs this up. In the study high school-aged kids were told to pay cash for less-healthy foods like cookies or candy. Predictably, they thought twice about it and grabbed something healthier instead.
5) Order the small
Put another way, treat treats like a treat! Yes, you may be thinking that they charge less by volume for larger quantities, but there’s nothing saying you have to have popcorn or ice cream or french fries at all. Eating out is difficult enough to do in a healthy way without opening yourself up to the temptation to overeat.
6) Play around with recipes
You can try substituting applesauce for butter or oil, and cutting back the sugar by a third. When baking here’s a thought: switch out white flour for whole wheat, or even better try brown rice flour. I have had success using both brown rice flour and quinoa flour for making drop biscuits and even for a roue for alfredo sauce. You’ll hardly taste the difference in many cases, and your pancreas won’t break it down to simple sugar so easily.
You make poor choices and decisions, including food choices, when you’re exhausted. That’s one argument for a good night’s sleep, but the best reason to get a full night’s sleep is that your body is at its maximum efficiency when it receives sufficient restful REM sleep. If you do have to pull a late night for one reason or another treat yourself to a good long night’s sleep the following night. Yes, you can catch up!
Once upon a time it became admirable among some working folks to possess the ability to multi-task. This logic has become so pervasive that now we tend to try to do two or more things at once all the time (even texting and driving, which is NOT GOOD). Eating and carrying on a conversation, or eating while doing any number of other things is very commonplace as well, and it really shouldn’t be. What if we ate with gratitude for the appearance and wonderful smell and taste of our food, and chewed each bite thoroughly? You will not only be bringing new joy and meaning to your eating, but also eating in a much more healthy way for the body as well. Truly identify the tastes hidden in each bite, and give your stomach and gut a break by chewing each bite completely.
9) Kill your television
This dovetails nicely into food focus. Have you ever mindlessly scooped up a whole bowl of chip dip with some dubious greasy chips because you were watching the game? Have I? Oh heck yeah! So…don’t do that! Television is one of the big distractors, and I highly recommend that if you do feel like you absolutely have to waste your time watching it don’t eat in front of it, especially your main meals. Oh, and one more thing – if you’re watching any one of the plethora of mind-numbing cooking shows out there how about knocking that off? When I put it that way it sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it?
10) Out of sight out of mind
Simple yet effective. Did you know somebody did a study on workplace snacking behavior, and found that people ate up to 48% more chocolate kept on their desk than if it was kept six feet or more away? I cut out sugar completely back in May of this year, and one thing I do with the sweet treats my wife buys for herself is put them back on a lower shelf far enough that I cannot see them. I did it because my blood work came back indicating I needed to change, but I would urge anyone trying to reduce weight to consider all of the dang sugar we get in our diets by accident due to the food manufacturers anyway, and either keep the unhealthy things out of sight, or even better just out of the house entirely!
I’ve presented 10 really do-able ideas for you here. Which ones resonate with you? I know that at one time or another in my past these have all been easy to do badly, but I promise that my life is different because of little habits like this. Tell us which of these you’re going to try in 2016, and what you are resolving for the new year. Scroll down to Leave a Reply, click in the box, and leave a comment for us…
Until next time – be fit and healthy safely, and let’s have a truly Happy New Year!