Changing your habits is the key to healthier living – not being on a diet. Here are my dietitian-recommended changes to start making small changes. Try one or them all over the next 10 weeks.
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I work with women regularly to help make healthy changes using a small step approach.
I’m not into detox diets or diets in general. These teasing tactics only put off the inevitable return to poor eating habits. Instead of jumping on the current diet fad try looking at these 10 habits over the next 10 weeks.
I say 10 weeks but that’s not required. You can choose to work on one each week or one for the entire 10 weeks or until you get it.
Healthy habits to try
#1. Switch to tea a few times a week. While coffee has some health benefits, tea’s health benefits are undeniable. Try green, black or white tea hot or cold. Try it without sugar if possible or with just a drizzle of honey.
I’m a big fan of matcha lattes in the morning. They are a healthy way to enjoy tea and also a practice in mindfulness.
#2. Swap out sugary cereals. I hate to break it to you but it’s time to let the fruity loops and marshmallow treats go. Trade them in for a whole grain cold cereal, oatmeal or this delicious Spinach and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches for breakfast. If you really love sugary cereal, go half and half. Mix a lower sugar and higher fiber cereal to start.
#3. Go meatless once a week. Evidence continues to mount on the benefits of plant based diets. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight, lower rates of cancer and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among other benefits. Give up meat at least once a week to reap some of those benefits. Check out my book, The Plant Love Kitchen, for semi-vegetarian recipe ideas.
#4. Drink water before your meal. For those who want to lose weight, research shows drinking 2 cups (16 oz.) of water before a meal can help with weight loss. Stay hydrated with water and other beverages, whole fruits and veggies or broth based soups and vegetable salads.
#5. Eat breakfast. Breakfast can be a great way to start the day – especially if you are a morning exerciser. Having a protein-rich breakfast can help your muscles recover after strenuous activity and energize you through the morning.
#6. Fill up on fiber. Fiber helps you feel full faster and longer. Aim for 25-30 grams a day. Get it from fruits, veggies, beans, whole grain cereals and nuts.
#7. Make half your plate fruits and veggies. Use this rule of thumb (or even 75% plants on the plate) at all of your meals for health and nutrition. You can also use it while shopping so you make to bring home (or order) the right balance of produce.
#8. Snack smart. Eat less chips, cookies and other refined carbohydrate snacks. Opt for edamame, roasted or air fryer chickpeas, apples with peanut butter, Greek yogurt or nuts to smash hunger. The protein and fiber combination will fuel you through a workout or keep you full until mealtime.
#9. Do something you like. If you’re not a fan of the gym (like me!), don’t go. Find an activity that you like so you’re more inclined to do it. You can hike, bike, roller skate, Zumba or join a dance troupe. Whatever it is, just make sure you love doing what you do so you will keep doing it.
#10. Connect with a friend. In addition to catching up with friends over dinner and drinks, set up a regular walk, roll, dance or run date with a friend or colleague.
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