Tips and Tricks: How to Start Eating Healthier Now (& Through the Holidays)!

Many of us are constantly researching and trying out all these hot new fad diets. What we fail to realize is that eating healthier is actually way easier and not as intense as we may think. Here are 5 easy tips and tricks to start eating healthier now!

  • Shop the “Outer Ring”: James Clear, an American author, has pointed out that typically the healthier foods are located in the “outer ring” of the grocery store. Instead of walking up and down the aisles where all the processed foods are, try to buy the majority of your groceries from the perimeter of the store.
  • Plating: by simply using smaller plates, our brains will think that we’ve eaten more than we really have. If we also increase the color contrast between our food and the plate that it is served on (i.e: putting fettuccine alfredo in a colored bowl instead of a white bowl), we can trick our brains into thinking that we’ve eaten more than we really have.
  • Hydrate: on average, American citizens consume about 45 gallons of soda annually. Next time, swap out that can of soda for water (enriched/flavored water is still better than soda!). Drinking more water will speed up your metabolism while decreasing your appetite.
  • Whole Grains: swap out refined, processed grains for whole grains. These whole grains skip the whole milling process that strips away many nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and magnesium in order to increase their shelf-life. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread and brown instead of white rice.
  • Nuts: need a salty snack during the day? Reach for some nuts instead of that bag of chips or crackers (personally I love snacking on cashews!). Nuts are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, calcium, and so much more!

While these are useful tips to try throughout the year, we all know how tough it can be to maintain our healthy eating habits during the holidays. It can be tough to resist that 2nd slice of Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie, to not eat all of those deliciously buttery potatoes, or to not eat another “last” cookie. We’re not saying you have to completely cut yourself off from arguably the best part of the holidays, but here are some tips on how to minimize the damage of those holiday feasts.

  • Eat Regularly: don’t skip meals so that you have more room to eat at the family party. Chances are that you can eat something healthier on your own time in comparison to what will be at the get together you’re heading to, so don’t skip those meals.
  • Scout the Entire Spread: take a look at all of your options on the table before diving into the feast. This way, you’ll have an idea of what you want to eat and will be able to save room for what you want to eat rather than just piling food on top of food on top of food until your plate resembles Mt. Everest.
  • Vegetables!: make sure to grab some vegetables and eat them first! There’s going to be a lot of heavy, unhealthy foods, so start with your vegetables to make sure that you eat them. You don’t want to fill up on all of the unhealthy stuff and be left with your vegetables at the end.
  • Take a Break: don’t get back into the food line as soon as you finish your plate. By taking a break for as short as 10 minutes after you finish your plate of food, your brain will begin to tell your stomach that it’s getting full, meaning that you’ll eat less simply by taking breaks. Instead of taking that post-dinner, food coma induced nap, go for a quick walk. This will help with the digestion of all that food sitting heavy in your stomach.
  • Watch Out for Alcohol: not only are alcoholic drinks adding extra calories to your holiday diet, but they also can increase your appetite while decreasing your self-control over what you eat. Drinking an alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach can make that bowl of chips and dip more enticing to go pick up and harder to put down once you start munching.

Try out some or all of these little tricks to make some positive changes in your life today! Don’t get down on yourself for enjoying the delicious holiday treats. This is the time of year to really enjoy yourself. If you do eat a little more than you wanted to, then the new year is right around the corner and is the perfect opportunity to get back on your fitness routine!

If you want to do more for your body other than just eating healthy, contact us! One of our great trainers on staff would love to help you out with whatever your fitness goals are!