The new year has ushered in the usual diet craze. Weight loss is one of the most common goals each year, but crash diets can do more harm than good. They often don’t last and, according to the National Institutes of Health, can even raise insulin levels.
Click the photos below for ideas on how to improve the way you eat this year—without having to diet.
Stay clear of low-fat
and fat-free diets
Low-fat and fat-free foods often hide excess sugar and don’t supply the quality food you need to remain full and healthy. Avoid foods like low-fat salad dressings and low-fat granola or cereal bars, which can have just as much sugar as a candy bar. Get tips here.
Eat healthy fats
and lean protein
Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Good foods with healthy fats are avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish like salmon, and more. There’s no need to feel deprived—a small piece of dark chocolate can actually benefit your health (aim for 70% dark or higher).
Swap out your favorite drink
Unless your favorite drink is water, swap out any soft drinks or processed juices with added sugar for the healthier alternative. If you need a change from water, try adding lemon, or fresh fruit for a sweeter taste.
Don’t completely cut
out your favorite foods
Cutting processed calories will help you lose weight and feel better, but don’t completely ignore your cravings. Feel free to enjoy a smaller portion of something you enjoy—just do so less often. Then, add more healthy calories to help override your craving. Try a healthy recipe today.
Learn more about your
relationship with food
Are you an emotional eater? Do certain events trigger a binge? It’s helpful to learn how an unhealthy relationship with food can affect your healthy-living goals. If you think you have an eating disorder, talk to your doctor and family to find help.
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This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
“Starvation diet and very-low-calorie diets may induce insulin resistance,” National Institutes of Health. March 10, 1996.