Healthy Habits for the New Year

Just in time for your New Year's resolution, here's a round up of Nutrition Diva's best health tips from the past year.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
Episode #315

After a month of office parties, family get-togethers, comfort food, and holiday celebrations, it's no wonder that most New Year's resolutions have to do with a healthy lifestyle.

And although one could get cynical about how long these resolutions typically last, I'd rather make the most of this inclination to renew our commitment to healthy habits. To help fuel your efforts, here are my 5 best healthy eating tips (plus a bonus tip):.

Tip #1: Don't Wear Out Your Willpower

Whether you've resolved to eat less junk food or to get to the gym more, sticking to that resolution will probably require some willpower. But when we call on our willpower to help us resist a temptation, we actually deplete our reserves, leaving us less able to resist the next temptation.

Here are 3 tricks to maximize your willpower. The first - and most important - is to remove as many temptations from your environment as you can. 

If you don't want to eat it, don't bring it into the house. If you must have it in the house, put it in a cupboard or closet that is out of sight and difficult to reach. If, after all that, you decide to indulge, serve yourself a single portion into a small bowl and put the rest away.

I can't over-emphasize just how powerful this can be. For more, read Why Willpower Isn't Enough.

Tip #2: To Overhaul, Start Small

One of the biggest reasons that resolutions fail is that people set overly ambitious goals that aren't sustainable long term. A few small changes that you can stick to for the entire year are going to have a much more profound impact than a radical lifestyle makeover that lasts only a week or two.

Here are 5 things that can make the biggest difference in your overall nutrition: Reducing your consumption of sweetened beverages, eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking more of your own food, limiting fried foods, and cutting back on grains.  

You'll notice that I'm not asking you to eliminate anything from your diet entirely. You can even tackle them one at a time if that's more doable.

For more, read How to Overhaul Your Diet

Tip #3: Enjoy the Glow

Part of the fun of adopting healthy habits like eating better, being more active, and getting more sleep, is the cosmetic benefits!

Not only might you drop some pounds and inches, but healthy foods can also improve your skin. In particular, healthy fats like those found in olive oil and avocado, coupled with antioxidant-rich vegetables, can improve the color and texture of your skin.  Shellfish are another delicious source of skin-improving nutrients. So eat up.

Read more in What to Eat for Gorgeous Skin


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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