“New year, new me!”
Did you also make a list of your New Year’s resolutions? Is getting healthier is one of them? Then you’ve come to the right place. We all enjoyed the traditional Christmas family overeating, but now it’s time to say goodbye to our holiday eating habits and focus on our health and strength for the upcoming year. The whole past year has been a sign that nothing is more important than our health and the health of people closest to us. Here are 5 tips to improve your diet in 2021.
1. Analyse what is working and what’s not
The best way to set ourselves up for success is to reflect on everything we have tried so far to live a healthier life and to sort out which methods were working and which were not. To be successful, many times we have to make many attempts and also experience some failures. Especially when it comes to a healthier diet, this shift will not occur in one week or even in one month, but rather it should be a long-term strategy to live a healthy life every day.
2. Plan your meals
Meal planning is an important activity that saves you time, money and stress. When there is more time to relax during the weekend, all family members can decide about the following week’s meal plan. Making a shopping list will be very easy, and you will also reduce your shopping time significantly because you know exactly what you are looking for. It is essential not to get distracted and stick to the items on the list. Knowing what kind of meals you want to prepare and having the right ingredients at home is a great way to get on the path towards a healthier lifestyle.
3. Meal Prepping
Meal prepping will save a tremendous time during the week because your meals will be ready in your fridge or freezer, and you will be less likely to get off track with your meals already done. You can try different options for meal prepping and stick with those that are the easiest and most efficient for you:
Make-ahead meals: Full meals cooked in advance and stored in the fridge – great for work or school lunches.
Batch cooking: This method will take a little more time, but it guarantees a nice warm dinner after a long day at work. You can make specific recipes in batches, divide them into individual portions and place them in the freezer.
Ready-to-cook ingredients: Cut down your cooking time by prepping individual ingredients in advance. It is a time saver that allows you to put a nice meal together quickly.
For some inspiration, watch Downshiftology’s meal prep video and learn how many different meals you can cook from prepped ingredients.
4. Have a healthy snack with you
Sometimes we can get hungry between meals ,and we just want to grab something small but healthy. Usually, if we are not prepared, snacking can lead us to vending machines buying a variety of unhealthy snacks that will not provide nutrients or energy for us. If you have spare time and you enjoy preparing homemade snacks, definitely look into “47 Best Healthy Snacks” by Love&Lemons. But suppose you prefer something quick that you can grab or buy quickly in the supermarket. In that case, you can try apple slices, berries, cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, mixed nuts, Greek yogurt, dark chocolate, olives or dried unsweetened coconut. You can also mix some of these ingredients together!
5. Practice Gentle Nutrition
Eating is also about enjoyment. No one will just eat 100% fruits and vegetables all the time. It’s importantly to also enjoy some of the yummy food we grew up with. Don’t punish yourself for eating so-called “bad” foods. We can try our best to teach ourselves new healthier foods to enjoy, but there’s no need to give up all your favourite foods. When people go on diets and restrict their eating too much, they end up binging. Rather than classifying foods as good or bad, listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, but try not to overeat. Try your best to eat nutrient dense foods, but don’t beat yourself up for enjoying treats. After all food is about memories, family and community!
Are you planning to start healthier eating habits this year? What are your favourite hacks to do that?