Nutritional strategies for a healthier New Year

With another holiday season behind us — and likely a few weeks of social food activities, holiday eating and vacation indulging — a few unwanted pounds may have shown up on your scale. It’s an easy time to fall victim to some unhealthy eating habits and cravings.

But as we enter the New Year, many of us start to think about healthy eating resolutions and renewed food habits. So, what steps can we take to ensure a smooth dietary transition?

Just as you partook in the indulgence of the holiday season, it’s possible to reset your diet and food cravings with a bit of commitment and planning. In fact, even a few days without unhealthy foods can help retune your taste buds to renew healthier habits — leaving you more satisfied with less.

Whether you decide to try a new dietary plan (such as the Healthy Kickstart Plan offered by your Copeman dietitian), incorporate a short-term food elimination strategy or even just tweak your diet to reduce those not-so-occasional treats, it is possible to reset your diet.

Whatever route you choose, feel free to modify your plan to suit your own personal needs and timelines. Try the plan on for a few days and be very mindful of how you are feeling. Keep a food journal or try a food-tracking app for extra accountability and  insight.

If you discover you want to adopt some sort of long-term dietary regime, such as going vegetarian or eliminating dairy, be sure to speak with a dietary professional. Your Copeman dietitian can ensure your new plan provides you with all the nutrients you need.

Looking to try a new dietary plan? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Keep it simple and doable.
  2. Identify which items you want to eliminate or reduce during your plan. Some common ideas include: added sugars, highly processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, lactose or gluten-containing foods.
  3. You can also try a vegetarian approach.
  4. Determine what time frame is feasible for you. Depending on the plan, this could mean a few days, a couple weeks or perhaps a month.
  5. Plan ahead. Choose a good time to start the plan and avoid overly stressful or busy times, as you’ll need time to dedicate to this plan.
  6. Rid your kitchen of leftover holiday foods, such as baking and chocolate.
  7. Stock your fridge with whole healthy foods, including plenty of ready-to-eat veggies and fruit.
  8. Consider batch-cooking healthy foods for convenience, such as healthy soups and stews.
  9. Keep it clean! Minimize processed foods and limit added salt.
  10. Focus on hydration. Plan your water intake with fresh herbs and fruit, hot herbal teas or unsweetened carbonated waters.
  11. Consult with your Copeman dietitian for more support!