We all get in a rut every now and then. If you feel like your day to day meals are mundane, it’s time to branch out and try some new tricks! Try some of the tips below to freshen up your diet.
1) Stop counting calories. Are you a calorie counter? If so, try ditching the numbers and focus on the quality, timing and portions of your meals. Counting calories can lead to choosing ‘empty calorie’ foods, ultimately leaving you unsatisfied. Focusing solely on numbers takes the focus of quality and enjoyment of food. It can also become tiresome and lead to guilt when you “go over.” Choose whole grains, plenty of produce, lean protein and healthy fats and portion them by filling half your plate with produce, one quarter with whole grains and one quarter with lean protein.
2) Return of the food log. Are you at a plateau or simply just bored with your food choices? Bring back the food diary and keep track of your meals for a week. Doing so will help you see if old habits have found their way back in and help you be creative by switching up food choices.
3) Try new and exciting recipes. Break out of your routine and give your diet some excitement by selecting one night a week to try a new ethnic meal. Try keeping a grab bag with different cuisines that you use to choose a cuisine to try. Then find healthy recipes and start cooking - it is always a great experiment!
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4) Be intuitive. Do you find yourself eating when you're not hungry? Practice intuitive eating. Sit down (sans TV or the computer) and ask yourself before and after eating how hungry you are using a scale of 1-5 (1 being starving and 5 being stuffed). Take your time and focus on the beauty of your meal, after a little practice, you’ll be on your way to mastering your internal cues of hunger and fullness.
5) Cook more meals at home. Doing so will help you cut calories, fat and sodium. Take inventory of how often you eat outside of the home and make it a goal to slowly cut back.