Now that the holidays have ended and we’ve indulged in all those holiday goodies it’s time for that New Year’s resolution. The number one resolution among Americans is to lose weight. It’s something that over a third of the population hopes to achieve each year. Going hand in hand with losing weight is trying to eat healthier and eat less. For most Americans these resolutions can be daunting and many people don’t know where to start to begin their healthy lifestyle journey.
If you are part of the population that wants to lose weight, here are a few dietary tips to help you out!
- Eat More Veggies
- Vegetables are filled with water, fiber, nutrients and fewer calories so try to fill half your plate with vegetables so you will get fuller faster
- Try roasting vegetables in olive oil instead of butter or margarine
- Swap out your normal pasta for a spaghetti squash and top with your favorite sauce!
- Sneak some extra veggies into your chilis, soups and pasta sauces by adding spinach, mushrooms or broccoli
- Eat More Fiber
- Eating more fiber may help you slim down, and can prevent cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
- The easiest way to get more fiber is to incorporate whole grains into your diet such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and quinoa
- Adding an extra can of black, kidney or white beans to your next soup or chili will help you reach your daily fiber goal (21-38 grams is recommended for the average American)
- Eat Less Sugar
- Put down those sugar sweetened beverages such as regular soda, sports drinks and sweet tea which are a source of added sugars and high in calories
- Add an extra piece of fresh fruit to your lunch instead of your normal cookies
- Look for low sugar or heart healthy recipes to bake with your family
- Drink More Water
- Drink at least eight cups of water per day
- Drink one cup of water before you brush your teeth in the morning
- Try adding fresh fruit in a pitcher with your water and leaving it overnight
- If plain water isn’t cutting it for you, opt for a calorie-free flavored seltzer water
- Resolve to drink one more cup of water than you did the day before
Any change can be scary so it’s okay to take it slow. Many people try to accomplish too many things at once, so spend a few weeks and tackle one or two goals at a time. It will take time for your new changes to become habit. Don’t get discouraged when you fall off the wagon – take some time to recognize what happened, but don’t use it as an excuse to give up. Use the support of your family and friends to help you achieve your goals for 2017!
by Grace McConville, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian at Roper St. Francis