New Year, New You: Unlock Your Potential with These Five Precision Nutrition Strategies
It’s time for a new year, which means it’s time for a new batch of health-focused resolutions. Wait, though: Before you protest that resolutions never work out, you should know that they sometimes do. And according to one academic study, the secret to getting more mileage out of your resolutions is to make sure they’re approach-based rather than avoidance-based.
What’s the difference? An approach-based resolution aims to add something into your life instead of taking something away. Think “increase your cardio” rather than “stop eating a midday snack.” It’s a subtle difference, but can have a major impact. In the aforementioned study, 58.9% of those who embarked on approached-based resolutions saw success compared to 47.1% who put themselves through avoidance-based protocols.
With those figures in mind, you might be wondering what you can add to your daily food and exercise regimen to unlock your potential. Below are five super-precise strategies to bolster your nutrition-related resolutions and help you progress throughout 2024.
1. Learn your way around the kitchen.
Nothing will give you more of a nutritional leg up than being able to prepare your own food. Truly, it’s not as tough to feel comfortable with culinary tools, gadgets, and terms as you might think. Even if you can barely boil water today, you could be sauteing, steaming, and stirring like a pro in no time.
Having the skills to cook basic meals will open the door for you to control exactly what you put into your body. No more guesswork. No more hoping. When you can comfortably and confidently prepare a variety of dishes, you can clean up your diet. At the same time, you can avoid wasting food. The average four-person household tosses out about $1,500 worth of food annually. By taking charge of your cooking, you’ll eat up the good stuff before it goes bad — and possibly reduce your spending, too.
2. Incorporate superfoods into your routine.
When was the last time you chowed down on spirulina, wheat grass, nori, astragalus root, or papaya fruit extract? Never? Not sure? You’re certainly in the majority. Those and other “superfoods” aren’t pantry or fridge staples. Nevertheless, your body deserves a regular dose of them because they serve up tremendous amounts of various vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they’re brimming with the antioxidants your system needs to function at full throttle.
It can be notoriously hard to increase your intake of superfoods by eating them individually. (Besides, they’re not necessarily going to be in your nearest grocery store.) Fortunately, products like allergen-free, all-natural Rewind Greens Super Greens powder exist. Just toss the powder into a glass of water or smoothie and take in the goodness. You’ll get the benefit of 24+ superfoods with very little effort.
3. Discover the palate-pleasing aspects of spices.
Be truthful: Do you always rely on a couple of spices or seasoning blends? You need to ramp up your spice game. Spices are like magic when it comes to transforming meals. Here’s why: The blander an item is, the more likely you are to eat too much of it. But when your taste buds are greeted with lots of flavors, you’re more apt to feel sated with a smaller portion.
Depending on how intense your spices are, you may find that they potentially offer other benefits, too. For instance, a piece published in Integris Health suggests spicy foods might temporarily suppress appetite and rev up metabolism. No matter what, though, you’ll be happier while eating if your food — especially fare that’s not flavorful — is bursting with complexity.
4. Teach yourself to spot portion sizes.
We’ve heard about portion sizes since we were kids. However, most portion analogies are tough to figure out: “It should be the size of a grapefruit,” “You want it about as big as a deck of playing cards,” or “A serving is about a palmful.” Huh? Instead of remaining confused, do yourself a favor and start weighing and measuring items like meats, fish, and veggies. (Good news: Decent kitchen scales can cost less than $15, like the recently-reviewed Ozeri Pronto.)
Your mission is to find out what a real, honest-to-goodness portion size looks like. Don’t be surprised if you’re blown away by how much you’ve been overestimating your portions. Americans are world-renowned for serving up extra-big meals. By becoming a portion-measuring pro, you’ll have a stronger handle on how much is too much for your nutritional needs.
5. Replace the sweeteners in your sugar-sweetened beverages.
It may be hard to think about drinking your morning coffee without added sugar, but sweeteners can add calories to your day. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American adult drinks at least one sugary beverage daily. That’s a lot, particularly over a year.
Since you don’t want to cut out sweeteners entirely, try cutting back or replacing sugar with another sweetener. Stevia is a good choice because it’s all-natural. Monk fruit sweetener products are, too. They may take a little getting used to, but you’ll be able to enjoy sipping a sweet drink without breaking your nutritional intentions. Plus, you won’t have to avoid sweet beverages altogether.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to fail year after year. This time around, make yours work by making just a few specific changes aimed at improving your nutrition — and getting you closer to seeing Fitter You in the mirror.
M&F and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.