Dieting, weight loss, regular exercise, and workouts are common New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, most people fail in keeping them. Why is that?
One of the primary reasons is the drastic change to their normal lifestyle. Suddenly completely cutting off a whole food group or getting started with rigorous daily workouts when you’ve been mostly inactive is a surefire way to easily get exhausted and unmotivated.
It’s crucial to remember that good weight loss results don’t happen quickly. The key to sustainable weight loss is to create a new healthy lifestyle based on what you are currently doing. Instead of switching up everything, do one thing at a time to adjust your mind and body.
In our bid to make this our year of better health and weight loss, let’s start slow and tackle our eating habits first. As the saying goes — we are what we eat!
Before we develop better eating habits, though, we must first improve our grocery shopping. It helps to take a list to ensure we fill our carts or baskets with all-natural, good-for-us foods.
It’s good to swap out the contents of your fridge and pantry for better foods but do it slowly. Let yourself and the people you live with slowly adjust to the new food and ingredients.
Here’s our quick guide for healthy essential food you should be on the lookout for next time you go shopping.
Proteins: More than Just Meat
Proteins are necessary to build and maintain muscles and support various body functions. Red meat, poultry, and seafood are the go-to protein sources. Aside from that, there are also plenty of plant-based protein-rich foods.
Not all protein-rich foods are equal, though. If you’re serious about improving your nutrition and eating better, it’s best to go for lean proteins. Lean proteins contain less fat and calories.
The next time you go grocery shopping, add some of the following healthy, lean proteins instead of reaching for bacon or sausage.
- Beef, including cow, bison, and buffalo
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- Dairy, such as cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt
- Beans, lentils, and legumes
- Soybeans and soy-based food, like tempeh, tofu, or edamame
- Protein powder, such as whey, beef isolate, pea protein, or hemp protein.
Whole Grains and Other Healthy Carbs
Carbohydrates may have a bad reputation thanks to their sugar and calorie content but that’s exactly what your body needs. We need carbs for glucose, which supplies our body with the energy it needs.
Go for whole grains and other healthy carbs to help cut down on the sugar content. Whole grains have a milder effect on our blood sugar. When you make your shopping list, leave out the white rice and white bread in favor of the following whole grains and sources of healthy carbs.
- Whole intact grains such as brown rice, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and steel-cut or sprouted oats
- Sweet potatoes
- Fresh fruit
- Frozen fruit
- Dried fruit (unsweetened)
Healthy Fats vs. Saturated or Trans Fats
Improving nutrition and adopting a healthier diet does not mean completely removing fats from our daily meals. This stays true even if our goal is weight loss.
Instead of removing fats and oils from our diet, we can switch them out for healthy or good ones. Unlike saturated or trans fats, healthy fats are good for our cholesterol, heart, blood pressure, and more.
Grab the following items to add healthy, minimally processed fats to your meals:
- Avocado and avocado oil
- Cold-pressed nut and seed oils
- Fresh coconut and coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut and seed butter (no sugar added)
- Olives and extra virgin olive oil, aged cheese
- Higher-fat dairy
- Egg yolks
- Fattier cuts of beef and pork
- Fattier cuts of lamb
- Fattier cuts of poultry, or dark meat from the thighs and legs
- Fattier fish, such as salmon or herring
Pro-tip: When buying aged cheese, butter, cream, dairy, and eggs, try to get ones that come from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals as much as possible. Meanwhile, for fattier cuts of meat, your best option is to buy meat from wild-caught animals.
Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetables are good for your body. Our advice is to try for variety when picking your fruits and veggies so you get a wide range of vitamins and nutrients.
It’s also best to choose fruits with more color. Dark leafy greens, colorful spicy vegetables, and fresh berries are some must-buys when grocery shopping.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to kick off a new and healthier lifestyle. Switching to a healthy lifestyle can not only strengthen our immune system but also provide us with a little more peace of mind. Next time in part 2, we’ll look at how to build the blanced plate, but if you want to get insight on this now, be sure to download your FREE guide to a healthier you.