The Two-week New Year’s Rejuvenation Plan: Part 1

Posted On Jan 3, 2014 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

healthy diet plan for 2014

It’s that time of year again when you start thinking about losing weight once in for all. You might jump to drastic measures and set high but unrealistic goals to drop 10 pounds in 10 days, cut out all carbs or start working out five days per week when you haven’t exercised since last summer. You might get results, but they won’t last, putting you in exactly the same situation as you are right now: unhappy with your weight, your lack of energy and maybe your appearance. That’s all about to change. I challenge you to take a different approach this year, an approach that will get you lasting results!

This two-week plan isn’t meant to end after 14 days, but is rather the beginning of building the foundation necessary to achieve a new healthier fitter you. It might be a drastic change from your current eating habits. If so, as long as you follow the six guidelines 80 percent of the time, you will still feel better, drop a few pounds, and most importantly, get in tune with your body’s needs.

Here are the first three guidelines to get you started:

Guideline #1: Eat fiber, lean protein and healthy fat at every snack and meal.

This combination will help regulate blood sugar levels, energy and hunger. It also provides a variety of nutrients to promote optimal health. Don’t worry about counting grams of this or percentages of that. Many foods have a combination of protein, fiber, and/or fat like nuts, yogurt and beans. Here are a few examples of this combination:

Graph showing ideal breakfast, snack and dinner meal plan for healthy diet

Guideline #2: Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking.

Get rid of carb-heavy breakfasts like instant oatmeal, dry cereal, bagels, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. Not that you can’t eat these foods, but having a breakfast like the suggested options listed above, soon after you wake, will help control hunger levels throughout the day and get your metabolism revved.

Guideline #3: Track your food at least three days per week.

Keeping a food diary can be tedious, but with free online tools and smartphone apps like www.myfitnesspal.com and www.loseit.com, counting calories has never been easier, and it is the No. 1 weight loss tool. People who track calories lose twice as much weight as people who don’t. If you can’t commit to doing it every day, try every other day or logging it the night before to work as a meal plan. You don’t have to do it forever, but it’s essential to getting a solid start on your health and fitness goals.

The next three guidelines will build on these. What are you waiting for? Your next steps should be to clean out your pantry, go grocery shopping and start logging! And perhaps prep your breakfast the night before so you don’t skip it.