Believe it or not, you can get healthier this coming year without dieting. Diets can be restrictive, leave you feeling hungry, and we often associate even that word with failure and displeasure. Diets often involve an overhaul of our habits, which ends up being a lot of work, stress, and can be too much at once. If you’re dying for resolutions that aren’t dieting, this list is for you. Each one can bring you closer to health and improved body composition without feeling restrictive or take over your life!
Food Resolutions That Aren’t Dieting
Pick one of these for your new years goals or resolutions. Heck, if you’re raring to go, pick a few! You’ll find each one is doable and many can fit into your lifestyle easily.
1. Eat More Slowly
Eating more slowly means you can eat your favorite foods, but eat less of them without feeling like you’re missing out. If you eat slowly, it gives your body time to send signals to your brain telling you you’re full. We often overeat, which leads to weight gain and impairs our digestion, because we eat too quickly.
And don’t worry, if you get hungry because you didn’t stuff yourself, just grab a small snack between meals.
2. Eat Mindfully
This is a trendy way of saying that you aren’t on your phone, working, watching TV, or reading while you eat. When you’re eating, you’re eating. That’s it.
You’re present in the moment, tasting your food, enjoying it, not rushing through it. Use it as a time to collect your thoughts, regain your peace, give your mind a break, or have a conversation with a friend. By eating mindfully, you give your stomach time to tell your brain how much it’s had, and this is more efficient because you’re actually paying attention and focusing on what you’re doing.
You may be the ultimate multi-tasker, but research shows this isn’t the best for your waistline. Take a break during meal time.
3. Eat Only Real Food
A great resolution that should help your health and weight loss goals without dieting is cutting out processed foods. Instead of thinking of “cutting out,” think that you’re focusing on eating real food. This positive mindset can help you make the adjustment!
This means eating nothing that’s been processed, but only things that were grown or raised. Processed foods aren’t good for your weight, your skin, your blood pressure, your cholesterol- the list goes on! This one takes a bit of planning but the payoffs are worth it.
4. Stop Eating Late at Night
Another great way to get healthier and slim down without going on a diet is to set a limit for how late you can eat. Eating late at night isn’t necessarily bad in itself, but that depends on you, what you’re eating throughout the day, and your exercise habits. Setting a cutoff time can also help your sleep and improve your digestion.
Personally, when I’m trying to reach a certain weight or goal, I make a habit to not eat after 9pm. If I know I’ll be up late, I’ll plan a snack accordingly.
5. Eat More Veggies
Veggies can help you not only lose weight, but improve your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels! Like mentioned in #4, think of adding in more veggies instead of cutting out other foods. Prioritize adding veggies at meals – even breakfast if you dare! – and eat them first. If you want junk or unhealthy foods, eat them after your veggies, and only if you have room for them.
If you’re up for it, shoot for a certain number of servings per day. A good place to start is counting how many servings you are currently eating, and shoot for two more. Increase when that’s a habit!
For the record, a serving is 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables, and 2 cups of raw leafy greens.
6. Start Prioritizing Protein
If you’ve read a health article lately, I’m sure it mentioned protein. Protein helps rebuild our muscles, our immune cells, and it’s a building block for enzymes, hormones, and even our skin and blood! It’s super important, but we also don’t store it up like we do fat. We need to keep consuming it so our body functions properly. Good news, it’s lean, and we burn quite a few calories digesting it!
Start thinking about protein at one meal, then two, then three, and adding in some protein-packed snacks. I encourage my clients to eat 1 palm-sized portion of protein at each meal, and rooting for men to shoot for 2 palm-sized portions.
This is much less stressful than calorie counting… and protein is filling so you won’t have room for that stuff that makes your pants tight!
7. Make a List of Swaps
Instead of foregoing all of your favorite unhealthy foods, make a list of swaps. If you usually have a donut in the morning, swap it out with some easy-oats with fresh fruit. If you always sip on pepsi, swap it out with sparkling water of find a suitable replacement. If you crave Reese Cups after lunch, swap it for some dark chocolate or fresh fruit. You may be laughing at some of these suggestions, and that’s OK. Find some foods in your diet you know you should probably give up, and swap them out for something a little healthier.
Personally, I have a sweet tooth and love rice and pasta. I try to eat fresh fruit or dark chocolate when I need something sweet, and I’ve swapped noodles for zucchini noodles and rice for cauliflower rice. That’s what works for me- find something that works for you!
8. Make 90% of Your Food
This is definitely the one that requires the most effort, but goodness it will make a difference! This helps you control what you eat, what additives are used, should save you money, and is beneficial for your waistline. Of course, if you’re constantly making pasta and casseroles it might not help in the weight loss department, but at least you can avoid additives and unhealthy oils used in many fast food joints and restaurants. It can also curb constant snacking because you’ll have to make the snacks!
For many, cooking and eating at home is a lost art. It can be easier to lose weight because you are in control of what you eat. You can make things a little healthier, use real ingredients, and more vegetables to help make sure what you’re eating is healthy.
Learn How to Eat Right This Year
This is a great list of habits you can try to help you lose weight and get healthier without the stress and displeasure of dieting. Along with that, I encourage you to try The Fit Tutor’s Nutrition Course, which will teach you how to eat right and help you never need to diet again!
Imagine feeling in control and knowing exactly how and when to eat to lose weight and get healthier. It’s easier than you think, and it’s within your budget. See our plans here and reach out if you have any questions!
Let me know which one habit you’re going to try this year in the comments!
This is your year!