Steps to Reset Your Diet
During winter, we tend to gravitate towards warm, comfort foods. It’s also more tempting
to get food delivered directly to the cozy confines of our couch, no cooking required.
Pair these heavier-than-usual meals with the fact most people work out less during
winter , and we can find ourselves feeling less than our best come spring. Hey, it happens.
The key is not to let a few months of indulgent eating turn into a few more.
What steps can we take to reverse this?
1. START NOW
There’s no time like the present to make a positive change. So, rather than waiting for an
arbitrary start date, like the first day of spring or the “next Monday” or a month before
that beach vacation…Begin making those changes now. The sooner you start, the sooner
you’ll notice progress and make the change into a habit.
2. PLAN YOUR MEALS IN ADVANCE
When you’re hungry at 7 p.m. and don’t have a dinner plan, even the best intentions tend
to fall through. Avoid hunger-induced decisions by planning your meals ahead of time. Buy
groceries and meal prep so you have healthy options each night. Healthy decisions come
easier with a full fridge and a game plan.
3. TAKE IT ONE MEAL AT A TIME
Between work, family, a social life and other obligations, sometimes something has to give.
Unfortunately, it’s often our health. If prioritizing your diet feels intimidating, try starting
with one meal per day. You could make overnight oats the night before to ensure you have
a healthy breakfast when you wake up or start bringing your lunch to work instead of
going out. If dinner is the meal you want to focus on, create a weekly menu of what you’ll
eat each night. Once you get one of your daily meals under control, you can begin to
address the others. But, you might notice even this relatively small step is enough to make
a big impact. Smalls steps in the right direction are better than no steps at all!
4. ADD, DON’T JUST SUBTRACT
Denying your favorite foods is a recipe for failure, as you’re likely to crave those foods and
then sabotage your hard work by overdoing it. Instead, think about adding healthy foods
to your plate. For example, if you really want pizza, eat a pizza. But skip the garlic bread
and maybe pair it with a large salad instead. This ensures you get plenty of fresh, healthy
produce. By filling your stomach with greens first, you may eat less of the high-calorie
5. LOG YOUR MEALS
Tracking or journaling what you eat is a great way to understand how many calories
you’re consuming each day and to see if you should make tweaks to your diet. Logging
your food holds you accountable and helps you reach short- and long-term goals.
Journaling/logging food doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be tracked in an app or written
down. It can also be photos of meals/snacks. Photos you can look back on to see how
much of your plate has protein, carbs, fats. Is it colorful? So many things can be observed
from a simple photo.
6. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Everything is easier with the support of a friend or partner, so find someone else who
wants to make a similar change, and do it together. There’s not one right way to enlist this
approach. If your spouse is along for the ride, trade-off grocery shopping and cooking. If
it’s a colleague, bring healthy lunches to the office and eat together. If it’s a long-distance
friend, check-in periodically with encouraging text messages and recipe inspiration.
Whatever you choose, just remember you don’t have to undertake this effort alone.