12 Small Nutrition Changes That Can Add Up To Big Results!December 27, 2017
As the New Year approaches, so does the opportunity to get a fresh start and create new resolutions or goals to improve your health, both physically and mentally.
Unfortunately, everyone dreads creating their New Year’s resolutions, since in many cases, they stop pursuing them after only a few months into the year. But New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to be big, momentous choices that will entirely change your way of living. There are many simple nutritional choices you can make that will create a big difference in your daily life and get you closer to your goals.
I've broken them down into one change for each of the 12 months in the year. You can mix them up in any order that works best for you.
12 Small Nutrition Changes Per Month
January (Month 1): Drink more water
One of the easiest and most effective changes you can make is to drink two extra glasses of water a day. Not only does water help clear skin, relieve constipation, increase energy and decrease fatigue, it even helps with weight loss. The purest and most abundant liquid in the world is also a miracle worker. Take advantage of its easy accessibility, and drink an extra glass or two of water every day. You will almost immediately see the changes that come with staying hydrated.
February (Month 2): Cook at home
Cooking your own meals at home saves you money, reduces your carbon footprint, and gives you the awareness of what you are putting into your body. To some, it may seem like a hassle, but cooking at home can be so easy. There are thousands of recipes online for preparing quick and easy meals that will positively affect your diet and your wallet. You can check out these options for delicious, healthy Recipes.
March (Month 3): Add some veggies to every meal
While you’re starting to cook at home more often, it is important to find a balance in your diet and adding vegetables to a meal is a great way to eat healthier and fill you up faster. Unfortunately, not everyone likes vegetables, but there are many ways to sneak them into a meal without sacrificing the taste. For example, add greens to smoothie breakfasts, or turn the millennial favorite, potatoes, into a delicious side-dish. Stick to your favorite vegetables, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things.
April (Month 4): Prepare ahead with a meal plan
Taking a few minutes at the beginning of every week to make a meal plan will ultimately save you time. You can avoid the stress of last-minute decisions on what to eat, and you won’t decide to get take-out or fast food as an alternative. Choose your favorite meals and cook them ahead of time so you can simply freeze and later reheat a delicious lunch. Fail to plan, plan to fail!
May (Month 5): Use laziness to your advantage
Let’s be real, temptations will always appear when you least want them. However, you can make it harder for yourself to cave into those cravings. By putting that bag of chips on the highest shelf and placing those raspberries right in front of your nose as you open the fridge, chances are, you’ll grab the raspberries. Sometimes having junk food in the house is unavoidable due to roommates or family, but you can make it harder for yourself to grab.
June (Month 6): Always-eat-breakfast
In order to have a good day, you need a good start, and what better way to do that than eat a nutritious morning meal? Your mother was right, eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Believe it or not, starting off your morning with a healthy breakfast will improve your daily performance and reduce your hunger throughout the day. Waking up just five minutes early than usual to cook eggs, is a small sacrifice for the big improvement in your day and your health.
July (Month 7): Be berry
Berries aren’t only delicious, but they’re also extremely nutritious and incredibly rewarding to our bodies. Berries contain so many antioxidants that help fight diseases such as Cancer and Alzheimer's. A single cup of berries will provide you with all the necessary disease-fighting antioxidants required in a day. Fruit is nature’s candy, and with fruits as delicious as strawberries or raspberries, we should enjoy them.
August (Month 8): Protein, protein, protein
Protein can help you lose weight and feel better. If you replace any extra carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and promote a feeling of fullness in your body. Protein boosts your metabolism, increases the amount of calories burned, and reduces your appetite. So stock up on your favorite proteins, and enjoy.
September (Month 9): Go green tea
There are so many benefits to this simple and easy warm drink. To begin with, green tea improves brain function, kills bad bacteria, helps you lose weight, and even lowers the risk of various types of cancer due to the antioxidants found inside it. Replacing your daily coffee with a cup of green tea will do wonders for your body and mind.
October (Month 10): Use smaller plates
Studies have shown that reducing your plate size leads to a 30% reduction in the amount of food consumed on average. That’s it! That is all that has to be done to eat less. How easy is that? A smaller plate will reduce the number of calories you eat and allow you to feel satisfied at the same time. By using a smaller plate, you allow the plate to control the portion for you.
November (Month 11): Stop drinking soft drinks
Soda is an addiction, and much like tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, it can wreak havoc on your body, despite the good feeling you may get as you consume it. Your heart, brain, teeth, kidney, and stomach will all benefit if you stop drinking soft drinks. It may be hard at first, but if you replace a glass of soda with sparkling water and a bit of fruit essence, it will taste just as good and be much healthier.
December (Month 12): Treat yourself
It is okay to have a small treat every now and then. If they’re not exploited, sweets can be part of a balanced diet as long as you pay attention to portion sizes and choose healthier treats. Instead of going for a slice of chocolate cake, choose a healthier alternative. For a taste of sweet, try some sugar-free jello or popsicles.
The New Year can be full of newfound health and positivity, and it really isn’t that hard. By making these 12 small nutritional changes in your life, it will help you to live a longer and healthier life. Many times when we try to make lots of changes all at once, it is too big of a change and we become overwhelmed and unmotivated. Consider making these changes, one each month so they build on each other for big results. After all, it is the little things that make a big difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in her kitchen.
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