January is notorious for being a time of promises for better eating and healthier living.
I think many of us are feeling a bit overloaded by the sugar, fat, and carbs of the holiday, and the start of something “new” is rather appealing.
We just got back from our three week vacation in North Carolina, and I was thrilled to see that I actually hadn’t gained any weight.
However, I still feel more resolved to work on my own health this new year.
I don’t believe in following crash diets. I’ve seen far too many of them started and failed (or if they worked, the weight always seems to come back).
I believe it’s important to make lifestyle changes for good if you want to have permanent results.
Forrest and I have been trying to be healthier this past year, and I think we’ve been successful. However, I’m still not feeling that great most of the time, so I’m hoping that by making a few more changes this year, I’ll be feeling better than ever.
I thought I’d share a few simple ways to make changes in your life for a healthier 2017 (and beyond!). These are things I’ve done myself and have seen positive results from.
Thank you to Subway and Fitfluential for partnering with us on this post.
Did you know that adding just one extra cup of fruits or vegetables to your diet can improve your health significantly?
Try and add as much color to your meals as possible (and no, that doesn’t mean a handful of skittles or cotton candy!)
Food that is colored naturally – such as fruits and vegetables – often had fiber, nutrients, and a lot of fun flavors to your meal. I think it’s important to make sure you have a colorful plate when you sit down to eat.
I mean, I’ve sat down before to dinner and realized how blah everything looked – whites and browns filled the plate. While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, adding some color can help make the meal much more nutritious.
I personally love going to Subway for meals (both for their subs AND their amazing salads).
They offer SO many kinds of vegetables that you can add to your meal – it can offer at least two extra servings of veggies to your diet (which is 40% of the AHA’s daily recommendation).
In 2016, Subway actually partnered up with the American Heart Association to launch +color – an initiative to encourage Americans to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet.
Choose Multigrain/Whole Grain
I’m the first to admit that I love a nice, fluffy roll or a piece of homemade white bread with jam slathered on top.
And those things are totally fine in moderation!
However, when possible, choose multigrain and whole grain options. I personally enjoy these more anyways! When we get subs at Subway, I always choose the 9-grain honey oat. It tastes absolutely delicious!
Protein is a great option for food that is filling and good for you. You can add protein to salads, smoothies (I’ve heard PB2 is a great option), and more!
Go easy on sauces/dressings
We are big sauce and dressing people in our family. Oliver will eat anything – but he’ll LOVE anything if he has something to dip it in.
However, a small packet of sauce, or a full serving of dressing, can add a lot of calories to a meal. Look for the less-calorie filled sauces and dressings. I always love honey mustard! It’s very flavorful, but it’s not heavy on the calories.
Be Wary of “Low/No Sugar, Fat, Carb” options
There is a big trend now for these types of things. Unfortunately, even if they are void of one “bad” ingredient, they often have other artificial ingredients.
I also feel that it can be hard to maintain lifestyles like this. If you want to – more power to you. But I believe the perfect diet is one that is well-rounded and uses most of the food groups!
Drink water before eating
Sometimes when I used to say I was hungry when I was younger, I was told to drink a glass of water first. Sometimes, the brain can interpret hunger for thirst, so drinking before you eat can help you to eat a little bit less.
It also can aid in digestion!