Committing to clean eating is one of the most common resolutions for many people this year—and making that decision is the easy part. However, kicking that resolution into gear/reality is what proves difficult for most people. There are countless reasons to choose a more mindful eating plan—pesticides, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, and sugar are linked to all kinds of health issues.
Choosing a healthier diet is an important lifestyle change, and here are some straightforward strategies to ease you into a more mindful diet.
1. Dry out
You may have heard people committing themselves to a “dry January,” which is essentially not drinking alcohol for the entire month. After a December filled with holiday parties, family, and festivities, many people have not only overindulged in food, but also alcohol. Not only is alcohol high in calories, it can also act as an appetite stimulant. The result: eating foods you typically skip when sober and eating more food overall.
2. Clean out the pantry
Go through your pantry and refrigerator with the same mindset you’ll employ at the grocery store. If you don’t read the labels on the food you buy and eat, start doing so, and use them to help you decide what to keep and what to throw out. Ingredients are listed in order of decreasing volume, meaning whatever the product contains the most of will appear first on the list. If you see fat, sugar or salt listed high on the ingredients, go ahead and throw it away.
3. Begin with a healthy breakfast
We’ve all heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and it rings true. Set the tone for the rest of your day by starting with a healthy, filling breakfast. Fruit, eggs, avocado and oatmeal are just a few healthy options to put on your plate.
4. Start cooking
Cooking for yourself is one of the best ways to take responsibility of your diet. If you’re not a natural chef—that’s okay—commit to making one thing each day from scratch.