As 2014 arrives at midnight tonight, millions of people will start their new routines – including their new diets.
We cringe when we hear the word “diet” because that typically means restricting what we eat. It may mean counting calories, skipping breakfast, limiting carbs, or not eating after 4pm. It may mean focusing on only one type of food or eliminating entire categories of food altogether. Don’t get us wrong, there may be good health reasons to exclude certain categories of food (like gluten if you have a sensitivity). What makes us cringe is when we deprive ourselves of great-tasting and highly-nutritious REAL food in a quick attempt to drop a few pounds. These “diets” typically don’t last long and can leave us worse-off than when we started!
We all know resolutions are difficult to keep.
When it comes to diets, our expectations may be too high or we might not see results fast enough. If we become bored with the foods we are eating, it's so easy to slip back into our old habits.
How long can you eat grilled chicken, broccoli and brown rice?!
Old habits are hard to break, but the reality is old habits are unlikely to change unless we replace them with new habits that make us just as happy as the old ones. When it comes to food, the benefits of new habits focused on REAL food can mean more energy; improved cholesterol or other health conditions; great taste; clothes could start fitting better; pride of preparing a healthy meal the family loves; discovering new foods; etc.
By simply focusing on REAL food, you can realize these benefits, be happy and say goodbye to the ups and downs of "diets!"
We are all at different places and have different goals when it comes to eating and our lifestyles. Our challenge to you is this:
simply commit to ONE THING to add more REAL food to your routine.
That ONE THING might be to eat a crock pot meal at home instead of going out to eat on a busy night. It might be to bring a REAL food lunch to work instead of going out. It might be to eat a vegetarian meal one night each week. It might be to eat air-popped popcorn instead of potato chips as a snack at night. Try to make it specific instead of a general statement like “I will eat more fruits and vegetables.”
Adding one good habit will hopefully replace one of those habits you are wanting to change. Also, if it makes you happy, it should lead to more good habits. This could be much more effective over the long-run vs. going on another “diet.”
The ONE THING we are going to do is to prepare a veggie tray every Saturday. It will have a variety of fresh vegetables and a dip that will be at our fingertips for snacking throughout the week. This will hopefully add another good habit and reduce the trips to the pantry for chips and crackers!
Just try it – change ONE THING and see what happens! Then share it!
We know other members would love to hear your ideas, as it may inspire them to do something similar! Since some of you already have good habits, encourage a family member or friend to do ONE THING.
Your encouragement may be the one thing they need!
Happy New Year!