It’s that time of year again…
Like clockwork, the dawn of each new year seems to invite an endless supply of messages about adopting a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s the symbolism of having a fresh start or motivation to lose a few pounds after the holidays, the pressure is everywhere – and it can be more than a little overwhelming!
Seeing the commercials, media coverage, your friends’ gym selfies on social media and more might have you convinced you’re failing if you don’t change everything about your diet and fitness practices at once, but going to an extreme could make you want to give up too soon rather than make a lasting change.
That’s why most dietitians and other health professionals would encourage you to start with small, simple habits that you can sustain throughout the year and over time. You can accomplish this without feeling deprived by taking a balanced approach that allows room for some indulgences.
Start small with some simple swaps:
One smart, sustainable strategy for taking a balanced approach is swapping ingredients when cooking and baking to make your favorite dishes and treats more nutritious without losing their taste.
|Unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas||Oil, butter or sugar||Mild- or vanilla-flavored baked goods||1:1|
|↑ Note: Replace the sugar or the fat, but not both! ↑|
|Avocado||Oil or butter||Chocolate-flavored baked goods||1:1|
|Nonfat Greek yogurt||Sour cream||All products||1:1|
|Olive oil||Butter||All products||1:1|
|Evaporated skim milk||Cream or evaporated milk||Soups or sauces||1:1|
|Whole-wheat flour||White flour||All products||Baked Goods
7/8 whole-wheat flour : 1 white flourGravy
1.5 whole-wheat flour : 1 white flour
Thinking Outside The Box
You can find a meal solution that puts these swaps to the test and learn more simple steps you can take to build healthier eating habits on our website.
What simple steps do you take for healthy living? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!