Simple Tips to Improve Your Diet

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colorful-foodsI am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s to lose 20 pounds, exercise 5 times per week or sleep more than 8 hours a night, almost 90% of people give up on their resolutions within the first 2 weeks of January.

The reasons our resolutions fail are many. But for most, they are unrealistic. If we aren’t making the progress we’d hoped for, we become discouraged and we quit.

I am also not a fan of “dieting,” or cutting out certain foods for periods of time to lose weight. When I talk about diet, I am referring to how you should eat every day, realistically and healthfully!

So the following four resolutions or tips are designed to be realistic and long-term, to help improve your diet. You can start off with one resolution and move on to the next when you are ready. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Be mindful: A bowl of buttery popcorn can easily be devoured while watching a movie, adding hundreds of calories to your day. Try to avoid watching television or using any other distracting electronic gadget while eating. Use smaller plates, and eat at the dinner table only. Eat consciously by chewing longer, eating more slowly, and savoring the flavors. Enjoy your food.

Eat low glycemic foods: The glycemic index (GI) ranks different carbohydrates based on their affect on blood glucose levels. Foods low on the GI are ideal, producing the smallest blood glucose fluctuations. Choosing foods low on the glycemic index, such as fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and legumes, will reduce your risk of diabetes and may even lead to some weight loss.

Hydrate: Although there are differing points of views on how much water one should drink, 6 to 8 glasses per day is a good number to aim for. If you are thirsty, drink! If we do not keep ourselves hydrated, we may experience symptoms such as fatigue, disrupted digestion, achy joints, and dry skin.

Enjoy colorful foods: Take advantage of the variety of colorful local bounty that each season brings us. Whether it’s fiber- and chlorophyll-rich greens such as spinach, kale, and collards, or carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe, all brimming with health-promoting carotenoids, aim for a at least two different colors a day! If you are having a hard time, keep this in mind – that fruits and veggies with the darkest, richest colors are usually more highly concentrated with nutrients.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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