Most people say they want to eat healthier, especially after examining what they consumed over the holidays (no judgment here). But many of us aren’t sure how to make that particular resolution last in the long term.
It’s why so many revert back to old (and bad) habits often by the end of this month.
Here are my two best-odds tips for success at clean eating in this new year and beyond.
1.) Be realistic. The key to reaching any goal is to make sure it’s realistic and attainable.
If your objective is to “eat clean” 100 percent of the time, you may feel you’re depriving yourself of things you love and burn out in short order. I tell clients to strive to eat a healthy diet at least 80 percent of the time and then be a little more lenient 20 percent of the time.
This will look different for everyone, but for me this means eating really well five days a week and having a treat or two on the weekends and special occasions. I love to explore new restaurants — and this often becomes my weekly treat.
But I still avoid things on the menu that I know will leave me feeling overly full and uncomfortable, like big pasta dishes and dessert.
2.) Be prepared. The other big reason for diet derailment is not being prepared.
Healthy meal planning and snack-stocking are two tricks to keep you on track. At the beginning of each week, I typically decide which nights — and what meals — I’m cooking. I have a freezer full of terrific protein such as fish and grass-fed meat, and will take portions out to thaw and soak in a flavorful marinade, like one of the minimal-ingredient, no-sugar-added varieties from The New Primal.
During my weekly grocery run, I make sure to stock up on veggies and healthy snacks such as fruit, nut mixes, peanut butter, and hummus. Some of my go-to foods are meat sticks and jerky from The New Primal, because they’re so easy to take with me wherever I go (and they’re ready whenever I crave them). Be sure to avoid the highly processed varieties, though, as they tend to have tons of additives.
You’ll have to come up with a brand new resolution next year.
It really is possible to finally conquer the healthy-eating resolution you keep making year after year — and then wonder why you have so much trouble keeping it. Just arm yourself with a goal that’s achievable and a plan that’s repeatable, and soon it will simply be a healthy habit — which means you’ll have to come up with a brand-new resolution next year.