9 Best New Year's Resolution for Healthy Eating

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9 Best New Year's Resolution for Healthy Eating
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Holidays and travel itineraries pretty much dictate that we are gorging ourselves on mountains of sweets and savory treasures from Halloween through the first of January. So it’s no wonder that so many people put healthy eating on their New Year’s resolution list. To avoid crash diets and weight-loss fatigue, try these tips from food experts for healthy eating in the New Year.

Be Reasonable With Yourself
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Be Reasonable With Yourself

Fad diets get a lot of press, but they aren’t necessarily the best route. Catherine McCord, mother of two, cookbook author and food writer of kid-friendly food website Weelicious.com, says to “keep it in what you can do” and “don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make these enormous, drastic changes” like juice fasts and cleanses.

Weelicious.com

One Change a Week
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One Change a Week

McCord says it’s OK to pace yourself instead of, say, going organic all at once. “[Have a] conscious decision to make smaller changes,” she says. “Like, ‘I’m going to eat a minimum of three or four vegetables a day’ … those are changes that are attainable, but they’re lasting changes.”

Shop Locally
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Shop Locally

McCord is also a big proponent of local farmers' markets and takes her children with her when she does her weekly shopping. Not only does this put money in her community, she also likes local markets because “they’re so exciting and inspirational and you’re buying the highest quality of food, and then you’ve got it in your refrigerator and you’re more inclined to cook with it.”

Ditch the Diet Soda
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Ditch the Diet Soda

McCord is strict about drinking water, homemade juices or herbal tea instead of soda -- a beverage she kicked to the curb over a decade ago after being raised on it. Her family has a sparkling water maker that she uses to make lime spritzers or other fruit-flavored water drinks to accompany dinner.

Eat Carbs That Count
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Eat Carbs That Count

While low-carb diets can be effective, they can be taken to the extreme. Nadia Giosia, a chef and host of Cooking Channel's "Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen," says it’s all about finding the right carbs. “Of course, refined sugar is a refined carbohydrate,” she says. “But if you’re eating whole-grain flaxseed bread, then that’s not a bad carbohydrate. Your body needs that.”

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen

Cook in Bulk
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Cook in Bulk

Not everyone has the time to cook meals every day. McCord works around this by making large batches of waffles, oatmeal bars and other meals in advance so they’re easy to grab when you don’t have the time or energy to make something from scratch. “Make a bunch of soup and put it in individual containers so that it’s super easy to defrost,” she suggests.

Fake Out the Sweet Tooth
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Fake Out the Sweet Tooth

Curbing your sweet tooth can be one of the hardest parts of eating healthy, especially at first. Giosia relies on dark chocolate with over 75 percent pure cocoa to get her through. “Sometimes when I’m on a low-fat diet, I’ll make dark chocolate meringues,” she says. “It’s super easy. All you do is whip your egg whites, fold in some dark chocolate and pop them in the oven. Or, you can make a mousse.”

The Most Important Meal of the Day
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The Most Important Meal of the Day

Giosia says that you should ideally eat six small meals a day “and the sooner you eat, the better.” These meals should include breakfast, which some people find difficult to eat because they’re not hungry in the morning. If this is the case, Giosia suggests protein shakes. “It’s very important for your body to constantly have something to digest,” she says. “Otherwise it thinks it’s starving; it stores the fat."

Stick to the Plan
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Stick to the Plan

It can be easy to lapse into old habits, especially after a long day or an exhausting gym routine. Don’t be tempted to treat yourself too early, Giosa says. “At the beginning, stick to a strict, healthy diet and workout regime. And then a month later, you can start treating yourself a little more,” she says. “After you’ve built up your muscle base and have lost some excess weight, you can indulge more because your metabolism is a lot higher than it used to be."

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