8 Practical tips to improve your eating habits in 2022

2022 eating habits goals hacks upgrade your habits Jan 11, 2022

 According to Statistica, the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions are:

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby 
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

Our recent blog post outlined a step by step method for goal setting and creating your vision for the year ahead. If you haven’t checked it out yet, highly recommend it!

Many of the most popular resolutions center around achieving greater health and vitality. Our eating and drinking habits have a huge impact. To support you in showing up as your favorite self this year, we’ve compiled our favorite tips, hacks and strategies. When you upgrade your diet and nutrition habits, you feel more energetic and ready to tackle whatever is ahead. 

Eating well isn’t rocket science, but implementing sound eating habits can be a bigger challenge. This post is focused on specific strategies you can use to make the implementation easier. 


1. Build a solid foundation

Start by adding more water, fruits and vegetables to your day. Why? 

  • There is some mindblowing research that eating more fruits and vegetables each day is linked to reduced mortality. “Eating an average of five servings per day was associated with a 13% lower risk of death than eating only two servings per day. Beyond five servings per day, eating more fruits and vegetables wasn’t associated with further reduction in mortality risk.
  • Hydration is also essential to overall health and wellbeing. Some research suggests that 75 Percent of Americans Are Chronically Dehydrated*, causing fatigue, brain fog and more adverse impacts. 

Here are some tips on how you might squeeze in extra!

  • Each morning, drink a glass of water when you wake up, before having tea or coffee. Anytime you have another beverage, have a glass of water first
  • Seek out fun ways to spice up your water: put slices of fresh fruit or berries in it, add some flavoring (like waterdrops), or find some fun flavored sparkling water (fun fact: they even have cola flavored ones)
  • Start your day with a delicious smoothie, or make one as your afternoon snack. Plan a big salad or veggie loaded soup as your lunch. 
  • Sneak some veggies in your usual dishes. Like throwing some fresh baby spinach in a soup, some butternut squash in your mac & cheese, swap your rice for cauliflower rice

*Survey of 3003 Americans, Nutrition Information Center, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (April 14, 1998).


2. Plan ahead

Meal planning is “associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status”. Planning ahead helps you have the right ingredients available to create meals that will make you feel good, and helps shield you from the temptation to get a pizza delivery to avoid the “what are we going to eat tonight” question. Again. 

You probably already know we’re giant fans of Skinnytaste recipes. Each week they put together a 7 day healthy meal plan (complete with shopping list), like this one for the last week

Planning the menu ahead may be some of the best time you end up investing in yourself this week.



3. Limit temptation

At the end of a long and busy day, decision fatigue can hijack your good intentions. According to this paper, “It is estimated that an American adult makes 35,000 decisions a day” and “humans deplete internal resources when performing acts of self-regulation, such as processing information to formulate a decision”. 

Planning ahead limits the decisions you need to make after a long day, and eliminating temptation to reach for sweets or salty snacks does too. If they’re around, it’ll be much harder to resist at the end of the day than it might be when you’re feeling rested.

If you want to keep some on hand, consider choosing pre-packaged or snack sized quantities for built in portion control. And if you’re carrying the family sized package, then serve yourself a limited amount in a bowl and put the bag away to avoid the temptation of mindlessly munching. 



4. Leverage Behavioral Sciences

Google famously put healthy snacks front and center, while tucking away less healthy options in drawers and opaque containers. It turns out that when you see something every day, you’re much more likely to reach for it. You can apply this principle in your own environment by:

  • Making sweets and treats hard to see and reach. Put them in opaque containers, tuck them away in drawers, put them out of reach in the pantry. 
  • Making healthy options readily available. Cut up fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator at eye level, fresh fruits on the counter top. 



5. Make it easy to eat well

One of the common complaints among busy working parents is that eating well can be hard work. Recipes can take longer to prepare, requiring more planning or ingredients. This definitely isn’t always the case, there are plenty of quick and easy healthy options recipes (there’s a 30 minute meal recipe bank here). But you can skip the planning, or cooking altogether. Here’s how:

  • Try a meal/smoothie delivery service like Daily Harvest. Get frozen, individually portioned meals to your door, just add water and blend or heat! Home Chef and Sunbasket (among many others) offer easy, flavorful meals that you can quickly put together. 
  • Take some shortcuts: Cut out some of the prep by purchasing pre-cut ingredients. Bags of shredded carrots or brussel sprouts, pre-cut Mirepoix (celery, onion and carrots, a staple in many recipes), or pre-cut butternut squash are huge time savers. We also love frozen veggie blends that can be steamed in the bag, or quickly dumped in the pan. 
  • Keep some fast options stocked: Canned veggie or lentil soups are a staple in our house. Frozen meals are another great alternative. In a pinch, we’ve got a reasonably healthy meal in just a few minutes. 



6. Make it delicious

This might sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to boost your intake of healthy meals is to make them delicious. 

  • Add some texture: Both salads and soups can be improved by adding texture. We love to put savory granola on our soups and salads for some flavorful crunch. 
  • Add some flavor: There are some incredible sauces and flavorings that don’t add many calories but add a lot of punch! We love truff hot sauce, Frank’s red hot sauce, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, or a delicious light salad dressing to add a pop of flavor. 
  • Follow a recipe: There are many tried and tested delicious healthy meals out there, give them a try!

Making foods that nourish you flavorful and enjoyable boosts your likelihood to come back for more.



7. Make it fun

You don’t have to go at it alone. Many apps and communities exist to provide support. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Weight loss: Weight Watchers and Noom are two of the biggest names in the game, and they have lots of experience. If you have an explicit weight loss goal, they have all the tools and support you might need. 
  • Make it a game: DietBet is a platform that allows you to bet on your goals. You put money into a pot, and when you meet the milestone, you get a payout. 
  • Habit trackers: Dozens of apps exist to help you with water tracking, healthy eating and more!
  • Write it down: There’s good evidence that writing down your goals, and your behaviors helps boost compliance. Treat yourself to a reward for simply tracking for 30 days, and see how it shifts things!


8. Plan for setbacks

You are likely to face setbacks. How will you get back on track when they happen? If your day did not go well, or your habits weren’t what you would like, don’t say “screw it, what’s another chocolate bar at this point”. If you had a bad meal, or a bad day, don’t give up and throw it all away. 

Fight “all or nothing” thinking. Every moment and every choice is independent from each that came before. Plan ahead for how you’ll find your good choices again after you’ve missed a step. The bounce back matters way more than the misstep. 

When people plan ahead for how they’ll deal with setbacks, they are more likely to succeed. 



Making food and hydration choices that support your wellbeing is a series of dozens, hundreds of small individual decisions. Each day and moment is an opportunity to decide how you want to nourish yourself. Each one of those decisions can bring you closer or further away from your goals. 

What small steps can you take right now, today?

We’re rooting for you.


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