At the beginning of every year, one of the biggest New Year’s resolutions we’ve all been guilty of making is maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s promising to go to the gym regularly to lose those extra holiday pounds, or promising not to choose a soda over a bottle of water, we’ve all sworn to do better. Whatever the case may be, we have all struggled with sticking to our resolutions. Now here we are, in the middle of the year, and the success of that resolution has been quite a challenge. The thing that I have learned the most about committing to achieving a healthier lifestyle is to make baby steps. If you are a “Foodie” it can be difficult to cut some of your favorite foods completely out,, here are five simple ways that have helped me to stay on track with transitioning into a healthier lifestyle.
- Oven Frying– Trying to wean yourself off of fried foods? Using your oven to “oven fry” is a great way to eliminate frying in oil. It can ultimately be a great way to stop eating fried food altogether. You can still get that great crunch that you love from frying in oil, without the extra calories. Oven frying has become one of the latest cooking trends and now you can find hundreds of recipes online on how to bake fry all types of foods for a delicious meal.
- Meatless Monday– One of my personal favorites is Meatless Monday. Not only is it a great campaign to encourage people to improve their health and the health of the planet. It is also a great way to experiment with recipes that are vegetable oriented. Since trying Meatless Monday, I have several meals that have become regulars in my meal arsenal.
- Ingredient Swapping– Swapping ingredients has turned into a Pinterest sensation overnight. Pinners from all over the globe are sharing ideas and recipes on how to swap out calorie driven foods and condiments. Swapping out your mayo with a creamy avocado spread can take your B.L.T to new heights or changing your baked potato with sour cream to a baked potato topped with Greek yogurt is just a small way to cut the calories but it’s definitely enough to make a statement on your waistline.
- Portion sizes – The old way to check portion size was by using your hand. Although lots of people use that method, I didn’t find it effective. Instead I changed the ratio of my plate. The standard plate would have a protein accompanied by two sides; usually a grain or starch and a vegetable. I made my vegetables the focal point accompanied by my protein and a grain or starch. Sometimes eliminating starches altogether. By doing so, you have increased your vegetables and decreased the more calorie drive foods.
- Breakfast – I love breakfast, but I have to admit that I love sleep even more. It can sometimes be hard for me to wake up to get in my most important meal of the day. When I can eventually roll myself out of bed, the one thing I can guarantee will be on my plate are eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein, but they can also be high in cholesterol and fat. A good way to balance this when eating eggs would be to use twice as many egg whites as yolks; this way you can still enjoy eggs and watch your calories.
These are just a few ways to get you started on the path to a healthier you. They aren’t big steps, but it’s better than not starting at all. You will slowly learn more ways to maintain good health and over time they will become a natural part of your everyday life. The ultimate goal is to change our mentality on our journey to a healthier us.