3 Ways to Make Healthy Eating Work for You in 2022
There’s a reason so many Americans make resolutions about health, fitness and dieting at the start of a new year. There are also many reasons why, despite our best intentions, we fail to keep those resolutions and find ourselves falling back into old patterns as the year progresses.
Sometimes, it’s an issue of biting off more than you can chew. If making major dietary overhauls isn’t particularly realistic, here are some easy, affordable and even unconventional ways to make lasting changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
1. Make changes in moderation
Crash and fad diets have been around for ages, but they don’t lead to long-term results. Your best bet at establishing healthier eating routines – and sticking to them – is to make changes in moderation and devote some time and attention to the “Three Rs:”
Reflect on what you need to change about your diet and what you already do well.
Replace the things you want to change – for example, drinking soda or eating late at night – with healthier habits, such as swapping soda for seltzer or drinking more water throughout the day to help ward off late-night hunger.
Reinforce your new diet and lifestyle changes by practicing them regularly, but give yourself a little grace – lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight.
2. Consider alternative condiments
America loves its condiments, but many of the most popular ones (think Ranch dressing) are chock-full of sugar, additives and calories. The good news is, there’s a whole, wide world of healthier condiments out there worth considering. Next time, forgo the BBQ or teriyaki sauce in favor of hummus, guacamole, pesto or salsa. They’ll please the palate – and they offer health benefits, too.
Up for trying something new? Try some of these healthy favorite condiments from across the globe.
A staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, tahini is a sesame-based paste that offers numerous health benefits – and it’s vegan and gluten-free, too.
Great in stir-fry, noodles, rice and wraps, kimchi is a cabbage-based Korean condiment made from fermented vegetables. It offers immune-system-boosting benefits, and it’s also high in probiotics.
A longtime German table staple, sauerkraut, like kimchi, comes from fermented cabbage, but the flavor is distinctly different. Like kimchi, it’s low in calories but high in probiotics, and it makes a solid addition to a salad, an egg scramble or a Reuben sandwich.
3. Eat your greens… and blues and reds and yellows…
Maybe you’re a lifelong fan of fruits and veggies, or maybe you’ve found it a struggle to get your recommended servings each day. Whether it’s you or your kids who need a hand getting in enough fruits and veggies, here are some ideas for how to incorporate more into a daily diet – and sometimes, even in disguise.
Stir in Spinach
Easy, affordable and ultra-good for you, chopped spinach is easy to sneak into smoothies, pasta sauce, or scrambled eggs, to name a few options.
A great way to make sure you’re covering your nutritional bases is to try and eat fruits and veggies in a variety of colors every day. There are five main color groups: Blue/Purple, Red/Pink, Green, White and Yellow/Orange, so aim for a colorful plate to get your proper fill.
Sneak veggies into sweets
Zucchini on its own is a hard sell for some people, but zucchini bread might have more fans. Try incorporating zucchini or carrots into bread or muffins for a good-for-you, grab-and-go breakfast option.
Sometimes, resolutions fail because they’re too rash or strict. By making more gradual, moderate diet and lifestyle changes like those outlined above, you boost the chances of establishing healthier habits you can adopt and maintain for the rest of your life.