This is the time of year where we start to see the “new you”, “make your resolutions stick” type of headline. I saw these in the airport recently, and it made me think…
What’s wrong with “current you”? Nothing. You might just need a few tweaks.
Let’s change the January narrative. What we think we can do is kind of what we get, so let’s use that to our advantage. You’ve heard of the placebo effect:
“Your mind can be a powerful healing tool when given the chance. The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia. Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments.”
-taken directly from The Power of the Placebo Effect
Boom. Here is one tip per eating occasion to refresh your current routine:
Overall setup: Get three food groups at meals and two at snacks to automatically build in balance. Stock your pantry, freezer and fridge with foods you like (yes, for real) and foods you are missing. Make your environment help you remember that you are doing things differently this year. (This is one of my favorite things, and one of the reasons I got my residential decorator certificate.)
Breakfast: Start your day off before the hectic-ness overtakes you. Add a fruit and/or a vegetable. Get some protein. Peanut butter is your jam? Ok, use an actual tablespoon to measure the portion and pair it with an apple. You like cheese? Start with a pre-portioned string cheese and enjoy it with an orange. Leftovers? Yep, that’s ok, too. Visit choosemyplate.gov to learn about each food group.
Lunch and Dinner: Stop eating one giant portion of one item. BORING (and probably not balanced). Make it easy. Add vegetables to soups and casseroles. Serve a piece of fruit as a side. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal to make a big impact. Learn your options, including portions. (The five food groups to choose from: fruit, veggie, dairy, grain, protein)
Snacks: Plan them. Don’t randomly graze from your co-worker’s candy dish or the pantry filled with free food at work and think this doesn’t count. There’s wiggle room, just know extra calories aren’t free. Make peace with this concept. If you encounter unexpected food, figure out how it fits in, or if it’s worth it. Maybe it’s not delicious enough to be worth the extra calories it’s adding. Maybe it is. Your choice.
Party: Cruise the entire array of food and beverage offerings before loading your plate. Choose your favorites. Leave the less healthy options that aren’t a treat in your opinion. Party food is a treat. Treat yo’self. Then move on. And don’t skip your workout. Even if it’s a short one.
Restaurant: Read the entire menu before choosing. Think of every section as an entree option. If there is an appetizer that looks amazing, ask for that to be delivered when the others get their entrees. You don’t have to order like everyone else does.
You don’t need a new you, you just need some new ideas.