Like working out, dieting is another new year’s resolution people try to start once the calendar turns to January. They often think of cutting out unhealthy foods and trying completely new diets.
However, it doesn’t have to be a complete shift one way or the other if you’re looking to try to eat healthier to start the New Year. Being able to find a balance is key.
“I usually have people look at things that they can do to add healthy foods into their diet, rather than focusing on what they can change and cut out, and once you can establish a couple good habits, move on from there,” says Paulette Feldhiser, a dietitian at MyMichigan Medical Center.
Eating healthy isn’t always necessarily what you eat, it tends to be when you eat, and how much.
“For a lot of people, they take the all or nothing approach to healthy eating, where they’ve got to eat everything exactly right or it’s not worth doing at all,” Feldhiser said.
Some people tend to get on certain fad diets that completely cut out certain foods. Many people will cut out things like red meat, or try to switch to a plant based diet. It really depends on the individual.
“Some people do not want to eliminate animal sources from their diet, and that’s okay,” said Feldhiser. “You can still have a well–balanced, healthy diet, keeping in mind the general recommendations, but on the other hand, a person can maintain a healthy diet that is plant–based. And so it is a personal preference.”
Keeping up with healthy dietary routines can become difficult as time goes on. Keeping consistency is all about setting simple, but specific personal goals.
“Make sure it’s something you know you can achieve, because that success that you get from achieving a goal can really motivate you to move on to the next goal,” said Feldhiser.
Feldheiser says don’t expect perfection right away when you’re making changes, and that it takes time, so stick with it.