Healthy Habits for the New Year

Cheyenne Bluhm, MS, RD BIDMC Food Services

DECEMBER 30, 2016

We all know it so well. The resolution to get healthy, eat well and exercise at the start of a new year. Most of us begin well. We pile our plates with healthy protein, fresh salads and fruit and cut out the sweet treats and cocktails. However, around mid-February, when it’s freezing cold out, the only thing that can bring comfort is a bowl of mac and cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. So, the healthy eating habits slowly begin to slip. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up.

Let’s try something different this year. Instead of fighting with your body, try a few of these tips to get back in tune with your natural feelings of hunger, fullness and enjoying what you eat.

  • Discover your feelings of hunger and fullness. Check in with yourself and pay attention to when you are a little hungry, very hungry or too hungry. Notice how you choose to eat based on your hunger. Also, notice your levels of fullness. Compare how you feel when you are still a little hungry to how you feel when you are over-stuffed and try to find that sweet spot of being perfectly satisfied.
  • Make time for meals on a regular basis. This could be as short as 15 minutes, but allowing yourself to settle down and focus on the act of eating will lead to greater satisfaction of the food you choose to eat. Regular meals also remind you that you will be eating again, so there is no need to over-eat.
  • Take a deep breath before eating . This will help you relax and keep you from eating your food too quickly. Mindful eating is also important for how it helps with digestion and can make you feel more satisfied with your meal.
  • Allow yourself to eat as much food as you want . This may take practice, but if you allow yourself to eat as much food as you want, you will feel less restricted and will be more likely to eat the right amount of food to satisfy you.
  • Respect your body and shift your eating attitude . Love your body for everything that it does for you, not for its shape or size. By thinking of eating and mealtimes with more positivity, you will be able to feed your body for nourishment and enjoyment, rather than counting calories and feeling guilty when you indulge.

Making these subtle changes will allow you to have a better relationship with food and enjoy the food you choose to eat. So enjoy the New Year celebrations, stay safe and warm, and cheers to a New Year of positivity and delicious meals!

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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