Does this sound familiar?
As the new year rolls in, millions of people will start their new routines – including their new diets.
We cringe when we hear the word “diet” because that typically means deprivation and restricting what you 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 Celiac disease). What makes us cringe is when people deprive themselves 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 people worse-off than when they 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.
Old habits are hard to break, and 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; lower blood pressure; better sleep; great taste; clothes fitting better; pride of preparing a healthy meal the family loves; discovering new foods; plus much more!
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 slow cooker meal at home instead of going out to eat on a busy night.
- bring a REAL food lunch to work instead of going out.
- eat a vegetarian meal one night each week.
- plan ahead for breakfast and prepare items like breakfast cookies, overnight oats or baked oatmeal cups to have on hand all week long.
- enjoy air-popped popcorn instead of potato chips as a snack at night.
(Just remember to 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 with homemade hummus or another delicious dip every weekend. It will have a variety of fresh vegetables 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 Eat REAL America 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!