Eating healthier is one of the most common resolutions every new year, but it's also one of the most quickly abandoned. We've all done it - you plan a strict healthy diet and it goes great for about two days until you get a craving, binge on a box of Oreos, and never look back.
Over-hauling your entire diet is pretty much impossible unless you have a will-power of steel. So, the best way get and stay healthier in 2016 is to make small changes that you're actually able to keep. These are some of the simplest hacks for a healthier you.
1. Don't strive to eat less "bad" food; strive to eat more "good" food.
Even if your goal is weight loss, this will you help you out in the long run. Instead of counting calories, count how many serving of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and protein you need to be eating every day. Make sure you eat those, and then don't stress about anything else you eat on top.
2. Drink more water.
Staying hydrated helps you maintain a healthy weight; benefits your hair, nails, and skin; and keeps you energized (among other benefits.) You should drink about 8 glasses (or 64 ounces) of water every day. The easiest way to do this is buy a 32 ounce water bottle. Make sure to finish it by mid-day, fill it up, and drink another by bedtime!
3. Sub out white foods.
Most white foods are empty carbs, but they can be replaced with delicious healthier substitutes. Try brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta and bread instead of your regular go-tos. The more natural color a food has (e.g. Skittles don't count), the more nutrient-rich it is.
4. Write epic grocery lists.
Plan your meals and snacks for the week, write your grocery list, and stick to it! BUT don't write a list that's all vegetables and rice cakes. You're more likely to have a mid-week craving and pick up a pizza when you know there's nothing filling waiting for you at home. That take-out pizza is way unhealthier (and more expensive) than if you factored in some small splurges into your grocery shopping. A homemade whole-wheat pizza bagel with extra veggies sounds way better, right?
5. Learn new favorites.
Almost everyone's heard of the book series Eat This, Not That, but have you applied it to your everyday life? Think of your favorite unhealthy food, and then find something similar with half the calories. It's actually not as hard as you think! If you crave chocolate, a Hershey's bar has 220 calories, but a cup of Swiss Miss hot chocolate has 120. If you crave crunchy foods, a cup of potato chips has 140 calories, while a cup of homemade kale chips has 35.
What's your favorite healthy meal? Share your photos with us at facebook.com/BOLDPittsburgh!