You know you need a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains in your life. The problem is finding ways to get those healthy foods into every meal, everyday.
And if you've made a New Year resolution to eat better for 2018, you might already be giving up.
We spoke to Jana Wolff, the director of nutrition at the Comprehensive Obesity Management Program at GBMC. She gave us great tips on maintaining a healthy diet beyond January 31.
Be Realistic About Your Goals
Wolff says its important to know what works for your lifestyle and be honest about how you're able to reach the goals you've set. "If you want to increase your fruits and veggies and you don't have time to prep all of those veggies, maybe get a small steamer bag or bagged salads," she said.
If your partner, spouse or kids like to keep junk food around the house, Wolff says don't rely on your will power alone to stop yourself from eating it. "When there are temptations right in front of you, your brain actually starts to produce enzymes in your mouth to get ready eat," she said. She suggests a compromise. "Get snacks in flavors you prefer not to eat or take the cookies and put them in the freezer so you can’t see them all the time."
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
We watch in amazement as contestants on weight loss shows shed half of their body weight in mere weeks. Wolff says that's not a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight. One to two pounds a week is ideal. Diets do work, like Whole 30 or the ketogenic diet, but Wolff says don't expect them to carry you through the long haul. "You can regain back all of the weight plus some," she said. "There’s a lot of research that shows dieting long term doesn’t work, but that to lose weight for the short term, yes it does work."
Goals are not set in stone. If you find that you are not hitting your goals every week or everyday, reevaluate and readjust. "Instead of looking at them as failures just think of them as part of the process and just reevaluate," Wolff said. "If you look back at what you did and you slipped up that’s ok. Slip, don’t slide."
Bonus: To cheat or not to cheat
Some people will stick to their diet six days a week and go nuts on the seventh day, eating whatever they want on their "cheat day." Wolff suggests rather than devoting a whole day to cheating on your healthy eating, maybe just stick to a cheat meal, and don't overdo it.