4 Simple Strategies for Sticking to Your Healthy Resolutions

by Maria Oanh Do 

Every year, millions of people promise themselves a year of healthy eating, and a year later, millions of people find themselves in the same place making the same goal. That doesn't have to be you! Lifestyle changes are difficult, especially diet changes, but with a few simple strategies, your resolutions can turn into results! With advice from Austin-based personal trainer and LSU alumna Kathryn Alexander, here are 4 strategies to start and maintain your healthy resolutions:

1. Start thinking about where your food comes from

This very simple shift in thought will change your diet forever (or at least it did to mine)! Just walk into your nearest grocery store and ask yourself, "What did it take for this chicken breast to get here?" If the answer is a laundry list of chemicals and extensive mass transit, it is likely not your best option. Move on and look for more transparent options. Indie Plate is one. Your farmers market is another. This simple question of asking where your food comes from will lead way to maintaining a healthier diet.

Pros

  • With just one question, you'll start purchasing better, healthier food, without even realizing it.
  • You'll begin buying fewer processed items and more whole foods without feeling like you're "on a diet".

How do I accomplish this? 
Shop local.  Most times, the foods you purchase locally from small farms and artisans are free from harmful preservatives, chemicals and hormones. They are also free from mass transit, which drastically reduces their carbon footprint. If you live in the Baton Rouge area, take a look at indieplate.com to get local groceries delivered for free. 

 

2. Get Enough of What You Need

Here, your goal is to simply make sure you give your body what it needs. This means your priority is not restricting yourself but simply adding nutrition.  "First, identify how much protein, fat, carbs, water, and fiber you need. You make sure that you reach these targets every day," says trainer Kathryn Alexander. 

Pros

  • When you get enough of what you need, you have less room to splurge. 
  • You won't be nutrient deficient.
  • You won't feel restricted.
  • No guilt for when you DO splurge because you already have enough of what you need.

How do I accomplish this? 
Drink your fruits and vegetables! Dr. Betsy Buchert, Indie Plate customer and  functional wellness doctor at Mint Health in Woman's Hospital, recommends drinking your colors (see photo below) AT LEAST once a day; twice a day once you've built the habit. It's the easiest and most convenient way to make sure you're getting tons of nutrition with the least amount of work. I personally portion out 7 ready-to-blend smoothies at night twice a week (as shown in photo) and keep them in my fridge to blend for breakfast. TIP: Ensure your smoothies are at least half veggies (greens, squash, etc.) so your smoothies are not high in sugar. 

Options for Smoothie Ingredients

  • Winter CSA Subscription from Inglewood Farm through Indie Plate gets you fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis delivered for free.
  • Place weekly orders for local produce from indieplate.com to stock for your smoothies. You'll be surprised at how quickly you'll run through them once you start drinking your veggies!

 

3. Focus on Fixing Your Worst Habit

According to Kathryn, this can be a game changer.  "The best example is drinking full sugar sodas or sweet teas. I’m a Southern girl and I love my sweet tea, but I can't have multiple glasses every day. (I could, easily. It’s delicious! But I choose not to). This is actually an ok problem to have, because this adds up so quickly, and eliminating or reducing it will add up quickly in your favor, " says Kathryn.

Pros

Just like worst habits add up quickly, the effects of reducing them from your diet will too.

 

4. Don't eat the things you know you shouldn't

Kathryn calls this one the "Common Sense Diet."  If you have definitive goals to lose weight, you know you probably shouldn't have that chocolate cake. This tip is for people who have general self control. Though it requires some willpower, the common sense approach is the simplest alternative to counting calories (which we all know is NOT fun). 

Pros

  • Common sense approach is much simpler than a hyped-up restrictive "diet" of counting calories, carbs, etc.
  • It's common sense. All you need is yourself and your brain!

How do I accomplish this? 
I recommend pairing the "Common Sense Approach" with tip #2 about "Getting Enough of What You Need".  Once you have gotten all your nutrition in for the day (whether it's in a smoothie or a meal), you'll have less room to splurge.

 

You got this.

All four strategies emphasize one thing: eating healthy does not have to be a chore! Unless you are bodybuilding or need to lose a lot of weight for health reasons where you'll need something more thorough, these simple strategies will help you build a healthy lifestyle that will keep you eating well on a regular basis. They're a great start for your 2017 healthy eating resolutions!

 

 

Food Subscriptions to Keep you Eating Healthy in 2017

 

 

 

 

Winter CSA Subscription by Inglewood Farm & Indie Plate

Deliveries start January 12, just in time for New Years
Sign ups accepted on a rolling basis

 

 

Grocery List Subscription by Indie Plate 

The brand new Grocery List subscription delivers grocery essentials on a weekly basis: 2 proteins, 3 vegetables, 1 fruit, 2 prepared foods and printed cooking tips for $50 or less each week. 

Sign ups accepted on a rolling basis 

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