If you’re thinking of starting the new year with a new diet, here’s a pro tip: think small. Rather than getting burned out with a long list of rules, why not set yourself up for success with small changes instead?
The truth is, overhauling your entire diet can get overwhelming. It’s much more manageable to make one simple change or pick up one new habit here and there. So to give you some ideas for new habits to cultivate, here are a few ideas for small dietary changes you can make in 2017!
1. Skip the Soda
If you’re a regular soda drinker, you can make a huge change in your diet simply by cutting this one thing out. Get all soda out of your kitchen, stop buying it at the store and remove one of the most notorious processed foods from your life.
2. Drink More Water
In lieu of all that soda you’re not drinking, opt for water. Staying hydrated is a decision that can boost your energy, increase your metabolism and help you keep snack cravings at bay. Plus, drinking more water is an easy habit to change. So buy yourself a fun water bottle you like toting around, add fresh fruit to your glass every day or just make it a habit to drink water first thing every morning.
3. Adopt Meatless Mondays
If you’re not already spending at least one weeknight eating a vegetarian dinner, the new year is a great time to start! Join the Meatless Mondays trend and plan Monday dinners that showcase seasonal produce. Whether you’re eating salads or vegetable stews, you’ll make a small change towards a healthier lifestyle.
4. Stock Healthy Snacks
When your mid-afternoon cravings hit like clockwork each day, be ready for them. Stock healthy snacks in your kitchen or work environment like nuts, fresh fruit or plain yogurt.
5.Eat More Greens
Instead of focusing on all the things you have to cut out of your diet, try focusing on the things you can put into it, like salad or other meals with healthy greens. Swap out your typical lunch with a big plate of greens, and make it fun by mixing up your routine with different mixes of greens with avocados, fruit, nuts, etc.
6. Cook More
One of the best ways to move your diet to more wholesome foods is to start cooking. When you cook, you control what goes into your meals and often save money in the process, too. Try working a little more home cooking into your lifestyle as another way to improve your diet this year!
The great thing about small changes is they’re manageable and approachable—so you avoid burnout and stay inspired. Pick one or two of the ideas above and start moving towards a healthier you, one step at a time!