Most people will make a New Year’s resolution each year. Most of those will also break that resolution before the year gets too far underway. In fact, most people who are going to break their resolutions do so within the first day at some point or another. There is hope, however, if you are planning to eat healthier throughout the New Year. The trick is to immediately begin rather than putting it off until tomorrow or until you have emptied the Christmas goodies from your pantry.
If you are among the many people around the world who resolves that this next year is going to be the year that you take positive steps to reducing your weight and improving your overall health the way to begin isn’t by loading up on carbohydrates and champagne. So out go the peas and in goes the cabbage and corned beef (in small proportions however). Begin the year by understanding portion size, the value of fresh vegetables, the idea that the meat isn’t supposed to take up most of your plate, and the notion that dessert is a rare treat not the anticipated ending of an ordinary meal.
These are outstanding beginnings. Not only do you need to rethink the way you eat for your New Year’s Day festivities but also the way you prepare the foods you love. High fat preparation methods are out. In is the idea of using seasonings that contain no or very few calories and leave little fat behind as evidence of their participation in the savory flavor of your meals. Herbs and seasonings are a healthy cook’s best friend because they help eliminate visions of blandness invading every meal to come until your fitness goals are met and you’ve reached a state of maintenance in which a few more calorific luxuries are allowed.
Stop frying. The frying process adds simple carbohydrates and fat to your cooking. These are two things you want to try to eliminate from your diet all together. While I am not personally an advocate of removing all carbohydrates from any diet, I do believe it is a good idea to switch, whenever possible and tolerable, to more complex carbohydrates that are healthier to consume. Fats should always be in moderation however, it is best to save their use for those times when it is a real treat rather than wasting them on well, dinner. Reserve the fats for fun food and rewards rather than squandering them on fuel that is meant to merely get you through the day.
Another thing you need to learn when cooking for the New Year’s Holiday and trying to keep things on a healthier note is that bigger isn’t necessarily better. This means that by sticking to the proper portion size you may avoid overeating and filling up. You do not want to leave the table full you want to leave the table wanting a little bit more (not hungry but not full). Eating the proper portions reduces the risk of overeating and feeling bloated or stuffed later. It also helps you understand what your limits are better and where you need to make cuts in your dietary habits.
Prepare for smaller meals rather than cooking one huge meal for New Year’s Day and carry that eating ethic through the rest of the year in order to achieve optimal results. Food is the fuel your body needs to carry out its duties properly. The bad news is that far too many of us really enjoy food to the extent that we overindulge, which also prevents the body from working properly. You will need to work to discover what the optimal amount of food and calories is for your own dietary needs, but it starts by eating healthy one day and following up the next. New Year’s Day is a great day to begin a new way of eating. Are you ready?