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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Nicole RDN

4 Simple Tips To Feel Your Healthiest This New Year

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Happy New Year!

Now that the celebrating is complete, we face our New Year’s Resolutions.

A common resolution is to eat healthier after over indulgencing over the holidays. You may want to jump on the latest cleanses or trending diet. Many of these cleanses and diets focus on what you should eliminate. Cleanses can often leave you feeling worse because of not providing your body enough energy or cutting out whole food groups. Rather than focusing on what you can cut out of your diet, let’s talk about what we can add to our diet this new year to feel your absolute best!

Here are some key points to keep in mind for this New Year to not diet and feel your healthiest!

Do Not Diet

Diet has the word “die” in it. We tend to starve ourselves or at least deprive ourselves of foods we truly enjoy. This often leads to overindulging and ultimately abandoning the diet. Studies have shown that 90 % or more of people that diet tends to gain more weight in the long term.

Balance Your Plate with Carbohydrates, Protein, Healthy fats, Vegetables, and Fruit

When creating a meal, strive to have a fourth protein, fourth carbohydrates, and half your plate with low starchy fruits and vegetables. Balancing your meals keeps you more satisfied and helps prevent you from overeating and snacking excessively.

Carbohydrates contain mostly glucose, which is the number one source of energy for our brains and muscles. Extra carbohydrates are stored in the liver as glycogen, providing the body with energy when needed later. High fiber carbohydrates digest slower in the body and raise blood sugar slower. This keeps you full for longer and keeps blood sugar at normal levels. Keeping blood sugar at normal levels helps you have consistent energy throughout the day. Aim to eat carbohydrates that are high in fiber such as multigrain bread, whole wheat or corn tortillas, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, lentils, peas, beans, corn, banana, and sweet potatoes.

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Also, protein is used for energy for the body. Eating protein, in combination with carbohydrates makes you feel full for more hours as opposed to eating carbohydrates alone. Protein-rich animal sources are seafood, poultry, red meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt. Protein-rich vegetarian and vegan sources are tofu, seitan, tempeh, beans, lentils, and dairy-free milk products.

Fat plays many roles in our body from hormone production, nutrition absorption, cell growths, and organ protection. Fat also slows down the digestion of carbohydrates because they’re the last to leave the digestive tract. This aids in keeping us full for longer and normalizing blood sugar. Aim to include mostly unsaturated fats from fish, nuts, nut butter, seeds, olive oil, and avocado.

Lastly, having half your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables fill you up without making you feel heavy or tired. This also lowers overall calories in your meal, aiding in weight loss or maintaining weight. In addition, portioning out your meal this way helps you reach your recommended intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Low starchy fruits are berries, apples, oranges, tangerines, watermelon, grapes, and kiwis. Low starchy vegetables are kale, spinach, leafy greens, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, asparagus, bell peppers, radishes, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Snack on Healthy Goodies

Snacks are important to have when we are hungry in between meals to prevent overeating at meals. When we are overly hungry at meals, we are more likely to overeat and eat more than what our bodies need.

Snacks should include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Examples of balanced snacks are apple and peanut butter, sliced vegetables and hummus, protein bar, or trail mix.

Water, Water, Water

Our bodies are made up of 70% water and staying hydrated is critical. Our bodies rely on water for maintaining electrolytes, regulating body temperature, and for optimal cell health.

Water is the best source for keeping our body hydrated. Make drinking water more interesting by adding different fruits or herbs to your water for added flavor. For example, sliced strawberries, cucumbers, watermelon, lemon, lime, or mint. Other options for hydrating drinks included sparkling water and different flavored teas.

These ideas are simple to implement. I want to help you in this coming year to be one filled with health and happiness. For more individualized nutrition programs, feel free to contact me!

Best wishes to all for a great 2020!

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