Are you making bold resolutions on January 1 to “eat right” – whatever that means? Here are five tips from nutrition experts to reach your diet goals, one focused step at a time.
1) Include Fruits or Vegetables at Every Meal
Ever heard of the “Red, Green, and Orange Rule?” This is what the Nutrition Twins Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos suggest to include a red, orange, or green type of produce at every meal. This way you’ll focus on what you should be eating rather than what you should stay away from, which makes eating a lot more fun and deprivation-free. And you’ll fill up on nutrient, antioxidant and fiber-rich foods that are low in calories to keep you lean and healthy.
“The best veggies for the dieter are non-starchy vegetables. They fill you up with fiber and water and very little calories,” say Tammy and Lyssie. “So you can pretty much munch mindlessly on them and never gain weight.”
2) Start Carb Cycling
Sarah Ravindran, Instagram’s popular fitandfiesty foodie, recommends carb cycling for fat loss and reshaping your body composition.
This means that on days where you train large body parts, such as legs and back, you up the amount of complex carbohydrates that you eat. Good carb sources include brown rice, everything wholegrain,or oats.
On days where you train smaller body parts, or do cardio, you slightly reduce your carb intake, and replace it with healthy fats and lean proteins.
Then, on your rest days, try to cut out carbs as much as possible (but not too drastically; keep your fruits and veggies in there still!) and increase the fats and proteins even more.
This ensures that your body is more receptive to insulin, so that when you eat carbs, they are used to fuel your workout, build muscle and keep you energized.
3) Switch to Whole Foods
Kelli Shallal from Hungry Hobby suggests as weight loss resolution to stop dieting and start eating more of real whole foods.
“There is a reason why so many diets fail or only work short time. That is because they are unsustainable and can not be followed through consistently. However a diet based on good whole foods with the right proportions of protein, carbohydrate, and fat can be followed throughout your lifetime. “
4) Focus on Healthy Fats
The incorporation of healthy fats into your diet is important throughout the weight loss process as they can prevent sugar cravings, promote fullness as well as nourish the internal organs to promote optimal function.
Bannie Williams, a nutritionist, former model and the founder of The Healthy Ingredient, based in Melbourne, Australia, recommends eating a variety of raw or activated nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts and chia seeds.
“They can either be eaten on their own as a healthy snack, or else added to a smoothie for increased substance as well as added protein. Avocado is another nutrient dense source of healthy fats as well as protein and vitamin C. Try adding avocado to smoothies for a rich, creamy texture or else adding to to salads. In terms of oils, olive (extra virgin) and coconut are preferred. Olive is best eaten raw, drizzled over salads or vegetables for optimal nutrient consumption and coconut is excellent to cook with or add to smoothies. Salmon is another excellent source of essential fatty acids and a wonderful protein for dinner or to accompany a salad at lunch time.”
5) Don’t Forget the Cheat Meal
Maggy Boyd, a.k.a NutritiousFoodie, , recommends to incorporate at least one cheat meal a week: “A cheat meal is a great way to reboot your metabolism and change up your ordinary nutrition routine.”
Katie Higgins, who blogs as Chocolate Covered Katie, has a sweet New Year’s Resolution: “Eat more chocolate. Okay, maybe not really… but dark chocolate is surprisingly healthy, with antioxidants and flavonoids. Chocolate will definitely be a part of my happy New Year.”
Don’t forget that if you eat healthy it doesn’t mean you don’t need to control your portions. Check these 10 expert tips on how to control your portions without counting calories.
The Nutrition Experts
Maggy Boyd, a.k.a NutritiousFoodie, is a nutrition and fitness enthusiast and currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Chicago, studying to become a Registered Dietitian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of California- Los Angeles. Maggy regularily contributes to top.me.
Sarah Ravindran is the owner of small Australian online health food store FitAndFiesty.com, with a huge passion for health and fitness. Sarah is a published author with a rapidly growing Instagram following; she loves to help people reach their personal health and fitness goals by whipping up delicious meals that are easy to cook.
Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos
Meet the Nutrition Twins Tammy and Lyssie. They’re twin sisters who are nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers – with 15 years of experience helping thousands of clients to boost their energy naturally, get healthier, be happier and reach tip-top shape. Through their books, media appearances, nutrition counseling, lectures and blogs, they’ve built an innovative and inspiring brand that empowers people to take charge of their health and create changes that last a good, long lifetime.
Kelli is a registered dietitian and self-declared foodie from Phoenix, Arizona. Her Hungry Hobby is a daily food and fitness log where she shares healthy recipes, nutrition tips and workouts. Twitter: @hungryhobby
Katie writes the blog Chocolate-Covered Katie, where she gives healthy makeovers to classic desserts such as cookie dough brownies and peanut butter milkshakes, posting at least three new recipes every week.
Bannie Williams is a nutritionist, former model and the founder of The Healthy Ingredient, a nutritional consultancy based in Melbourne. Bannie’s clean living philospophy is based on three fundamental components: nutrition, movement and happiness. Bannie regularly posts her nutritious recipes on her website www.thehealthyingredient.com.au.