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Healthy Eating Tips From Registered Dietitians For The New Year

As the co-founder of a nutritional supplement company, our customers are full of healthy eating resolutions come January 1st. And I get it—this is a chance for a completely fresh start. But achieving your goals doesn’t have to be boring or restrictive. In fact, it shouldn’t be.

To help you start your new year off right, we’ve compiled 27 of the best out-of-the-box-tips from Registered Dietitians for healthy eating. Here is their advice on how to make the coming year your healthiest year ever!

Hint: there are no diets involved, and that’s for a reason: You’re much more likely to make healthy eating part of a sustainable and healthy lifestyle when you don’t feel restricted and when it fits into your life naturally. Registered dietitians know this—we know how hard it can be to do total overhauls, and we also know how unrealistic that is as an expectation. The key to healthy eating, in the new year and also all year long, is to make it an enjoyable and easy-enough experience that makes you feel good and becomes self-reinforcing. These tips should hit the right notes. Here’s to a new year of healthy eating and feeling great!

𝟭. 𝗞𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁, 𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗯.

New Year’s resolutions often equate to adopting a strict diet, and boredom is one of the top reasons that we ditch those meal plans after a few weeks or months. Instead, focus on eating more healthy foods that you enjoy, and then mixing up those foods every week or so. Don’t like kale? Leave it. Add in some spinach or romaine instead. This prevents boredom and helps you look forward to eating your meals and snacks. —Lauren Minchen, NYC-based RDN

𝟮. 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗯 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀.

Similar to a book club, start a recipe club with friends. Assign dishes (appetizer, salad, main meal, dessert) and meet once a month to enjoy good food and swap recipes. You can even focus on different types of meal plans each month (vegetarian, gluten-free etc.). Collect all of the recipe cards you make throughout the year and create a recipe book to give to friends and family over the holidays. —Malena Perdomo, MS, RD, and certified diabetes educator consultant, writer, cookbook author, spokesperson

𝟯. 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝘀𝗻𝗮𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱.

Create a healthy snack bag with non-perishable items and leave it in your car. Include healthy breakfast bars, nuts like almonds, and dried fruit as well as a bottle of water. This will ensure you always have a healthy snack wherever you go, and you won’t be tempted to stop by a drive-through or convenience store when you get hungry. —Emily Cope, MS, RDN at EmilyKyleNutrition.com

𝟰. 𝗔𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘇𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝘇𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗿𝘂𝗶𝘁.

With less variety of fresh fruit during the winter months, eating frozen fruit is a great way to have your favorites year-round, and to make sure you get your recommended daily servings. Often times frozen fruit can be more nutritious than fresh fruit since it’s packaged shortly after being harvested. Throw a handful into your hot oatmeal or layer them with yogurt for a parfait—just make sure there isn’t any added sugar. One of my favorite things to do is defrost ¼ cup of frozen berries, mash them up with the natural juices, and use as your own homemade ‘jam.’ —Maxine Yeung, a California-based RD, CPT and owner of The Wellness Whisk

𝟱. 𝗦𝗲𝘁 𝗦𝗠𝗔𝗥𝗧 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹𝘀.

One very successful method for getting my clients to achieve their goals is using the SMART strategy. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, accountable, realistic, and time specific. For example: I am going to go to the gym at least three times a week for the first month, and during the second month my goal is to make it to the gym at least four times a week. You got this! —Hadis Ghoghaie Schertzer, RDN at Genesis Healthcare

𝟲. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀.

At the beginning of the year, schedule monthly, or weekly alerts on your phone to take 15 minutes to assess goal progress. Use these reminders as opportunities to reflect and to make any adjustments so that you keep moving forward. —Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition

𝟳. 𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝘁, 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁.

Instead of spending time and energy excluding foods you think are “bad,” redirect your efforts to including more nutrient-rich foods and you will automatically crowd out the less healthy options. Start by trying to add one fruit and one vegetable to your daily intake. —Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, owner of Nutrition Starring You

𝟴. 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗸𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘁𝘇𝗲𝗿.

Sugary beverages include sodas as well as iced tea, lemonade, juices, etc. Try drinking more water or seltzer instead—you can even add slices of your favorite fruit such as lemons, limes, oranges, berries, cucumbers, and even fresh mint. —Marie Keogh, MPH, RD, CDN, CLC, NYC-based dietitian at Mount Sinai Queens and Forest Hills Wellness

𝟵. 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗴𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗼𝘂𝘀.

Eating healthier starts with making healthy food more appetizing and worthy of display! Try storing produce in see-through containers in your fridge or in a pretty fruit bowl on the counter. Not only do we typically eat more of what we can see, but if it looks good, it can be one less barrier to making healthy happen. —Carlene Thomas RDN, LD, recipe developer, food stylist, and creator of Healthfully Ever After

𝟭𝟬. 𝗦𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸.

Set aside 30 minutes each week to sit down with your calendar and plan the week ahead. Schedule your workouts, plan your meals, and make your shopping list. A little bit of planning on the front end not only saves you time throughout the week by cutting out the guesswork, but it also sets an intention for success. —Sarika Sewak MPH, RDN, Los Angeles-based dietitian and creator of Little Legumes Nutrition

𝟭𝟭. 𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆, 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗶𝗻-𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗳𝗮𝘀𝘁.

Eat a breakfast rich in protein to help you feel full longer and have the energy you need to power through your day. Aiming for 25 to 30 grams of protein before noon can be easily accomplished—and equally delicious—when you pair a glass of milk with your eggs and avocado toast, or with your favorite fruit-topped overnight oats. Aim for protein sources that are also rich in other nutrients such as milk (8 grams of protein per cup plus nine other essential nutrients), nuts like almonds and pistachios are packed with protein, healthy fat, and fiber, or eggs (they’re also rich in lutein, choline, and certain B vitamins). —Holley Grainger, MS, RD, blogger at Holley Grainger Nutrition

𝟭𝟮. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗼𝘀, 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗻.

Once a week, cook a meal with your children. Start from fresh, real foods. You’ll be sharing precious time with them, teaching them about eating well, and enjoying a lovely meal together. —Katja Leccisi, MS, RDN, author of How To Feed Your Kids: Four Steps To Raising Healthy Eaters

𝟭𝟯. 𝗘𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝟮-𝟯 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸.

Most Americans aren’t eating enough seafood, which means they’re missing out on all the important benefits including improvements in heart health. Seafood can be enjoyed as part of a salad, in a taco, or even in your favorite pasta dish. —Kristen Smith, Atlanta-based registered dietitian specializing in weight management and family nutrition

𝟭𝟰. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘃𝗲𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗮 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸.

This is probably the single most important thing you can do to increase your intake of vegetables. Rather than trying to eat more and more salads, cook vegetables by roasting or stewing them with olive oil, onion, tomatoes, and herbs. Common vegetables to use are green beans, peas, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli. Accompany with cheese and a slice of whole wheat bread. —Elena Paravantes, RDN, Mediterranean diet consultant, HuffPo columnist and health editor at Olive Oil Times

𝟭𝟱. 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗮 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗿𝗲𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀.

Put that new 2016 calendar to use by creating a fitness attendance contest among the people in your home, whether they are your spouse, roommate, or family. Come up with a system for marking on the calendar each time an individual completes a workout. The person who does the most workouts at the end of the month earns a prize, and aim to make the reward non-food related, such as a massage, manicure, or shopping spree. In the event of a tie, have a silly tiebreaker such as seeing who can do the most burpees in one minute or can hold a plank the longest. —Mandy Unanski Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, creator of Nutrition Nuptials

𝟭𝟲. 𝗕𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀.

Sometimes when we exercise or lose a little bit of weight, we want to indulge in a high-calorie treat because we feel we’ve “earned it.” This can be a slippery slope that can interfere with your plans to eat healthy. Instead, be mindful of your portions and find other ways to reward yourself like getting yourself a massage, a new outfit, or just relaxing with a friend. —Atheer Yacoub, MS, RD, CDN, Personal Health Coach at EHE International.

𝟭𝟳. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗹𝗼𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘃𝗲𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀.

Try to fill half your plate with colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables, and then split the rest between lean protein and whole grains. This is a simple way to easily achieve variety, portion control, and helps to maximize your meal’s nutritional bang. —Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

𝟭𝟴. 𝗧𝗿𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗮𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱.

If you know you’re going to have a busy day, prepare a smoothie first thing in the morning. Be sure to include the fruits or vegetables that might not be convenient to eat later in the day. When your schedule has you crazed and you’re tempted to eat whatever sweets are around, you can simply have sips of your nutritious and delicious smoothie. By the end of the day, you’ve consumed extra fruits and veggies without going overboard on the sweets. —Jillian O’Neil, New York City-based registered dietitian

𝟭𝟵. 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁.

Let’s say you have a 30-minute lunch break, yet only use 15 minutes of it for eating. Head outdoors for the remaining 10-15 minutes and go for a power walk! If you can make this happen three or four workdays each week, you will quickly be tacking on almost a full hour of exercise! Small steps can make a big difference. —Jessica Corwin, MPH, RD, food and nutrition educator at Good Food For Kids

𝟮𝟬. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝘁𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗲𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗴𝗶𝗳𝘁.

Wearing a fitness tracker may encourage you to get in some extra steps. Even if the step counts are not 100 percent accurate, pedometers have been shown) to motivate and increase physical activity. —Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition

𝟮𝟭. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 “𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸” 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴.

Use your non-dominant hand when you eat. It naturally slows you down because you have to try and steady your food to get it to your mouth. And eat until you’re comfortably full. In other words, stop eating at the start of feeling full. —Lisa Musician, RD, LDN, founder and president of Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc.

𝟮𝟮. 𝗘𝗮𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗰 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲.

Think critically about where your food comes from: Ask yourself who produced it and under what conditions? Eating well in the new year isn’t just about calories and nutrients. It’s about the impact our food and farming choices have on our larger society and planet. I choose for myself, and recommend to others, organic food because it meets my criteria for helping to protect my family’s health, farm worker health, and that of the planet. —Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD, host of nationally syndicated Food Sleuth Radio

𝟮𝟯. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝘁.

When eating out, preview the menu online ahead of time so you know what options will be available when you get there. That way you can make a healthy selection before you arrive and can avoid getting caught up with any in-the-moment temptations. —Annette Schottenfeld, MBA, RD, CDN, president of Nett Nutrition, Inc.

𝟮𝟰. 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗴𝘆𝗺 𝗴𝗲𝗮𝗿.

My advice…Treat yourself! Put all those gift cards to good use and hit up the post-holiday sales for new gym gear. Whether it’s a killer pair of powerlifting shoes, eye-catching graphic leggings, or a fresh new yoga mat, you’re sure to be inspired to go out and accomplish your athletic endeavors. You deserve it. —Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT, creator of enjoyfoodenjoylife.com

𝟮𝟱. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗼𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗻!

Schedule your exercise like it is an important appointment or date. If I have a class to go to, it is in my schedule! So when I have yoga on Wednesdays at 8 AM, seeing it on my schedule reminds me to set aside clothes the night before. And try scheduling different types of exercise (like yoga, Zumba, walking with friends, etc.) throughout the month to help prevent boredom. —Emma Fogt MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND

𝟮𝟲. 𝗚𝗼 𝗮𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗽𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲.

Embrace and enjoy your favorite indulgence, whether it’s chocolate cake, French fries, or a glass of wine. Instead of trying to ban them from your healthy kingdom, plan to enjoy them in moderation. Can you commit to enjoying French fries only once per week (instead of daily)? Then you’re already making healthy changes for the New Year! —Carolyn O’Neil, MS RDN author of The Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon

𝟮𝟳. 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆, 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿…𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹.

Instead, create an intention each morning when you get up and have it be one that is easy and doable. You can be healthy 80 percent of the time and that still counts as perfectly healthy! —Chere Bork, MS RDN owner of Savor Your Life Today

SOURCE: Self.com, By Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E. Jan. 2, 2017

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