The Two-Week New Year's Rejuvenation Plan: Part 2
If you've successfully implemented the first three guidelines in Part 1 of the New Year's Rejuvenation plan, you're ready to tackle the next three. You can choose to tackle one at a time or add all three into your nutrition plan.
Guideline #4: Eat more foods with a single ingredient.
You can finally forget about reading food labels. The majority of your diet should be foods that have one ingredient. This includes all fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, fish, lean meat, chicken, herbs, spices, olive oil and minimally processed grains like plain oats, brown rice, barley, couscous, bulgur and quinoa. It's still important to monitor your portion sizes of healthy whole foods, but with filling fiber and protein packed into each meal, you won't get cravings and have spikes in energy and hunger levels.
Guideline #5: Don't drink your calories.
By cutting out healthy sounding drinks like vitamin water, bottled green tea, sports drinks, and even 100 percent juices, you'll save calories AND money. Stick with water, unsweetened tea, sparkling water and coffee. An occasional (meaning once per week or less) sweetened latte, small soda or juice is fine, but calories from drinks aren't as satisfying as calories from food. If you get bored with plain water, add lemon, lime, or a splash of fruit juice. Unless you're an endurance athlete, water will keep you adequately hydrated during and after workouts. Try to limit diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners as these can increase your cravings for sugar and alter your metabolism to make you feel hungry.
Guideline #6: Plan to splurge.
Hopefully by adding more healthy foods you haven't had room for junk food or felt overly deprived. These guidelines are meant to help you achieve a balanced satisfying way of eating that offers flexibility for your own tastes, while providing nutrient-rich foods to promote optimal health and wellness. You should still enjoy eating! This is why planning to splurge is my last guideline. Including small amounts of your very favorite foods and drinks is important. This doesn't mean you can have an entire cheat day to eat whatever and however much you want. Try this approach:
- Choose to have one treat of 100-150 calories per day
- Choose to have one larger treat meal per week, allowing an additional 200-300 calories per meal than what you normally eat
There are hundreds of different diets instructing you to eliminate entire food groups, severely restrict calories or follow strict rules like not eating carbs after 5 p.m. The reason every new diet works at first is because it provides structure and reduces total calories. But has a single one of these diets worked for you long-term? If you're reading this blog, my guess is "no." These six guidelines provide the structure for long-term results. And you provide the determination to stick with them!