Every time a new year begins, many of us resolve to make drastic changes to our diet with the hopes of seeing a major transformation. How often do you stick with those dramatic diet resolutions though? When you attempt to overhaul your eating habits in such a big way, you're far more likely to fall off the wagon and go back to your old habits. So this year, instead of trying to achieve the impossible, consider making some smaller changes. With the right tactics, you'll still see big results.
Ditch the ridiculous expectations for some realistic ones with these resolutions:
No matter how busy you are in the morning, try making time for breakfast this year - even if it is something small. Studies have been inconclusive about whether or not eating something in the morning can help with weight loss, but you're less likely to overindulge at lunch if you've noshed on a satiating combination of fruit or whole grains and protein. Consider a bowl of oats with a sliced banana or nonfat yogurt with berries and 1 tablespoon of almonds. If you're more of a grab-and-go kind of girl or you don't have much of an appetite in the morning, just mix up a packet of david kirsch's protein plus meal replacement powder, which is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that curb hunger, balance hormones and even offer your skin and brain a boost.
Start packing your lunch
Make an effort to BYOL in 2014 and you'll reap a bevy of benefits. Not only will you save a substantial amount of money, but you'll also cut back on calories. Store-bought sandwiches and even salads can hide a shocking amount of fat and sodium content, but by packing your own meal, you have control over the ingredients and portion sizes. Make your lunch the night before if you're too lazy in the morning. Cooking extra portions of your dinner can make it easier on you to simply toss some leftovers in a Tupperware and bring them to work. You could also store a few cans of low-sodium soup in the office for days when you're short on time. Don't forget to include a healthy snack so you can keep hunger pangs at bay without having to hit up the vending machine or convenience store.
Try meatless Monday
You don't need to give up your carnivorous ways altogether to reap the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. According to the Meatless Monday Campaign, a recent study by Imperial College London revealed that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain. Additionally, the campaign noted that eating fiber-rich vegetarian protein sources like beans and peas means you'll consume lower amounts of saturated fat, as well as higher levels of folate, zinc, iron, magnesium and other essential minerals. Chili, lasagna and tacos can all be made vegetarian - and with additions like hearty mushrooms, low-fat cheese and flavorful sauces, you won't even be missing the meat.
Find alternatives to fats
Of course, fats are an important part of any diet - but not all are created equal. Resist grabbing that jar of mayo and reach for a fiber- and vitamin-packed avocado instead, which is just as creamy. Or you might try a mayo that's made with olive oil, which has more of the heart-healthy fats and less of the artery-clogging saturated ones. Mustard is another low-calorie condiment that brings a lot of flavor to any food without boosting the calorie content much. Think twice about pouring the high-calorie creamy salad dressings on your greens and opt for a simple vinaigrette, or make your own using Greek yogurt for a thicker consistency.