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TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER DIET ALL YEAR LONG

Is having a better diet on the list of New Year's resolutions? You can certainly achieve that goal! But it is important to prepare yourself to achieve it.

Typically most people have unrealistic expectations, they decide this is the year they are going to completely change their diet and that is too hard to do.

Nutrition Goals: What Really Works

When making changes to your diet start small. Set some realistic goals. In the long run, you will have better self-esteem and more confidence in yourself because you will really stick with them.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

* Take time for breakfast  

Skipping breakfast makes you want to eat later and slows down your metabolism. It is advisable to start the day with yogurt and fruit or whole grains with low-fat milk.

* Do not skip any meal or snack. 

Try not to go more than five hours without eating. Waiting too long can drain your energy and can lead to overeating later. Eat a (healthy) snack between lunch and dinner, perhaps right before you leave work, so you’re less likely to snack once you get home.

Discipline will help you meet your goals. photo: Krishnajith

* Includes a total of 30 minutes of activity every day 

If it takes you 10 minutes to walk from the bus stop, get off at the next furthest stop to walk a few more minutes. And walk briskly: you can lose some weight, improve your cardiovascular system and sleep better.

* Drink fewer sodas and other sugary drinks, such as iced tea. 

A large bottle of a juice drink can contain 300 calories, and those calories add up. Drink water instead. Or mix juice and water, so you’re not drinking something so loaded with sugar.

* Meet your goal 

Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

* Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables. 

The convenience makes it more likely that you will choose them when you are hungry.

* Keep frozen vegetables in the fridge 

They are easy, fast, and rich in nutrients. Take them to work for a quick lunch that you can heat up in the microwave. Season with black pepper, herbs, lemon juice, or a red wine and balsamic vinegar dressing.

* Pack healthy snacks 

Think of things like hummus, yogurt, cut-up vegetables, and string cheese. Take them to work, school or other activities. That way, you’ll be prepared and save money.

* Upgrade your salad 

Add whole grains to increase fiber, so you feel full.

* Pair pasta dishes with vegetables and lean protein (such as canned shrimp, canned tuna in water, precooked chicken breast, or soy crumbles) 

Adding protein and vegetables to pasta allows you to reduce the amount of pasta (which is high in carbohydrates) while still feeling full.

* Go for a variety 

You don’t want to eat the same fruits and vegetables all the time. For example, choose a variety of fruits instead of buying a big bag of the same fruit. 

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