Stick to Those New Year's Resolutions
Thinking of eating healthy in 2023? Tatiana Boncompagni has tips so you can succeed.
It’s the last few days of 2022, and chances are from Thanksgiving until now you’ve been gathering with friends and filling up on holiday cheer, cookies, and other treats.
Personally, I spent the holiday in Nashville where I’ve been stuffing my face with hot chicken, multi-course dinners, and plenty of good ‘ol Tennessee whiskey and craft beer. I intend to not concern myself until January 1, 2023 — when many of us choose to start a new year eating mindfully.
Whether your goal is to embark on a Dry January , to start eating more vegetables, or to simply get out of the apartment and walk more, January is a good time to set new goals.
Tatiana Boncompagni is here to help Broken Palate readers keep their goal to eat healthier in the New Year. Boncompagni is a wellness writer and the founder of Eat Sunny, a healthy meal delivery service that will soon be available at Fairway Market, Gourmet Garage, and select Shop Rite locations. The delicious, healthful meals will be available to grab and go starting in March 2023.
Here are Boncompagni’s tips for eating healthier in the new year.
Eating healthy starts at the grocery store
If it's in your house, you're going to eat it, so stock your fridge accordingly. If going into the store is too tempting, shop online instead and make your list. And in terms of what you are buying, the less processed food, the better. Here's what I keep in my fridge all the time: vegetables like carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and boxed lettuces; low-glycemic fruits like berries; Greek yogurt and cottage cheese; eggs; chicken thighs and ground turkey; milk and oat milk. In terms of starches, I like rolled oats, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
Cut the condiments
Most people eat mostly healthy and then make colossal mistakes with their condiments. Mayonnaise-based dressing, buttery sauces, and marinades with hidden sugars are everywhere. Cooking at home means you have control and won't end up consuming calorie-filled condiments without your awareness. Definitely feel free to ask for sauce on the side in restaurants and at home, make your own salad dressings and marinades with olive oil and vinegar. Greek yogurt really substitutes nicely for mayo in a lot of places. I'm also a big fan of no-sugar-added pasta sauces and ketchup. Look for them!
cheat treat meals but not days
The mind goes crazy without your favorite foods. I know I need fun nights and dinners to look forward to even when I am on a reset. So schedule them in but know that it is a meal, not a whole day because you really don't want to derail your progress or make your body think you are going back to old habits. Also when it is planned, it will give you the sense that you are not out of control, so your self-esteem and feeling of self-efficacy stay intact, and that is key!
Remember that it's hardest at the start
Embrace the fact that it's hard, but remind yourself that it's going to get easier. It's simply the science of behavior change. Our bodies crave routines and consistency. So once eating healthy becomes your norm, you'll not only choose to but you will want to eat healthily. That's why it's key to think of your way of eating as a lifestyle change and to adopt a style of eating or make a tweak to your lifestyle that you can sustain for the long term. No crash diets. No diets, period! And also feel free to clear your schedule for three weeks during this time period to make forming healthier habits easier on yourself. It is okay to put yourself first.
Have a transition plan
That said, if you did remove yourself from temptation or follow a really structured eating plan, make sure that you have a strategy for transitioning bacinto your old routines. That may look something like this — I used to skip breakfast, eat fast food lunches and go out three nights a week, and have three glasses of wine and ice cream twice a week. Now I eat a healthy breakfast, pack my lunch or get a salad (and bring my dressing from home), and go out twice a week. I drink one or two tequila sodas and I have ice cream maybe once a month or I'll have a bite or two of my partner's dessert if I feel like it.