Have You Made These 4 Easy Changes to Your Diet?

Whole veggies on a aluminum tray

Resolutions. They never seem to go away. Another year goes by, and millions of people are once again bound and determined to make some significant change to their lifestyles. Some succeed at this drastic change but most don’t. I have a challenge for you. Instead of making life-altering behavioral modifications, let’s do the baby steps approach! You ready?

Here are four simple things you can do to improve your eating habits, and your overall health, too.

The plan: Incorporate one change per week this month. And, of course, continue these changes throughout 2013.

1. Eat one additional fruit and vegetable each day.

Honestly, I don’t care what you choose, just add one new option from each group. Most of us chronically under eat fruits and veggies, so let’s do something about it. After all, we all know how good they are for us. It’s hard to find the perfect combination of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but fruits and vegetables fit the bill.

2. Add a protein serving at breakfast.

Most breakfast foods are carbohydrate-heavy, so try to add a protein source such as cottage cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, or even peanut butter (sure—we’ll count that too). The additional protein will increase satiety and balance out your meal (and help control blood sugar levels, as well).

3. Drink 4 glasses of water each day.

We’ve all heard of the 8×8 rule, but truth be told, everyone’s water needs are different. That said, every one of us would benefit from drinking 4 glasses of water per day. The rest of your daily fluids can come from other liquids and from the foods you eat too. Drinking more water offers numerous benefits, including improved kidney and bowel function, reduced muscular fatigue, and enhanced skin tone, not to mention the potential to help control calorie intake.

4. Add two vegetarian meals each week.

Try adopting the concept of Meatless Monday. There are definite health benefits associated with vegetarianism, but it’s clear that most people don’t want to give up their carnivorous cravings. So how about adding a few more vegetarian meals each week? Meat and other animal products are associated with a higher incidence of chronic disease, so this small change makes a lot of sense. You’ll add a bit more variety to your meal plans, as well.

What dietary changes do you plan to make in 2013?

Photo credit: Frank McMains

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