Healthy Eating Refresh: Letter from the Editor

By Staff 7 Min Read

At Healthline Nutrition, we want to help you eat food that makes you feel good. Looking at science is always where we start, but we understand that real-life eating doesn’t fit some perfect nutrient pattern. Here’s how you can refresh your eating habits while still enjoying your meals.

Almost every January, without fail, people become interested in nutrition, health, and wellness. There are countless resolutions around weight loss, specific eating patterns, fitness goals, and more.

While I love to see the enthusiasm around taking better care of yourself, all too often, it starts with eliminating countless foods and hitting the gym 7 days a week. The lofty start may sound great but tends to fizzle out after a couple of weeks.

Instead of banishing sugar, carbs, or bread — what if you focused on small, positive changes you could make? Swaps that may not feel as significant but are much more likely to be sustainable.

It’s estimated that only about 9% of people stick to their resolutions every year. Why not try a healthy refresh instead? It’s not as exciting, but getting back to basics is important.

If you’re feeling confused about where to start, you’re not alone. Almost everyone has an opinion about nutrition, and it’s not always — err, rarely — based in evidence.

On social media, it can be overwhelming to sift through nutrition information and figure out what’s true and what makes sense for you. I encourage you to start with what the science says and also start small.

New research was just published, showing how important hydration is for healthy aging, so drink more water (perhaps a new water bottle will help motivate you).

We know that sleep is important for overall health and impacts your appetite and food cravings (try these science-based tips for better sleep).

Almost 90% of us aren’t eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, but we have some creative and simple ways to help you get your fill.

If you’re already checking those boxes, and getting some movement in, good for you. Think about other small ways to refresh your eating habits. Maybe you make it a goal to try one new food a week, eat protein-rich foods at most meals and snacks, cook more at home, or meal prep on Sundays.

Notice how most of the small changes I mention are positive. They’re foods or habits you can add to your day. I don’t like restriction or deprivation, but I believe that adding some good stuff can naturally help crowd out other behaviors.

Often nutrition and healthy eating is presented like an $80 smoothie full of potions, powders, and tinctures. In reality, you could whip up a smoothie with some frozen fruits and veggies for a fraction of the price that will still be very good for you.

In addition to being budget-friendly, healthy food should taste good. Only 29% of Healthline readers said they thought healthy food tastes good, which means that most people equate healthy food with tasting bad. This is one myth I hope we can banish together.

Not everything needs to be the most amazing meal of your life, but have you ever tried a roasted Brussels sprout? They’re light years away in flavor from any steamed or boiled sprouts you may remember as a kid.

If cooking feels overwhelming, these 10 simple dinner recipes can help you put tasty and easy meals on the table. Or try a healthy meal delivery service to make dinner even easier.

Healthy eating should incorporate foods that you love, that you grew up with, and that are part of your culture.

Nutrition is one piece of a complex puzzle when it comes to your health. Even though good nutrition is key, it’s not the only thing that matters.

When it comes to a healthy refresh, some of the changes will happen on your plate, and some of them will happen outside of nutrition. General wellness behaviors like getting more sleep, moving your body more and taking care of your mental well-being.

Far too often, I see people feel ashamed for eating a brownie or french fries, or making a food choice that they have deemed to be “bad.” Try and let go of guilt around food and treat yourself with kindness this year.

On days I’m reaching for more processed food than usual, it probably means I was busy making good memories. Instead of getting down on myself, I let it go and trust that my next few meals will be a bit more nutrient-dense.

At Healthline we’ll teach you about optimal nutrition and empower you to take that information and apply it to figure out what works for you. Sometimes that’s going to be high-protein salads and sometimes it’s going to be enjoying cookies guilt-free.

I’m rooting for you to give up the goal of dietary perfection and instead to embrace what comes along with eating foods that make you feel good.

I hope when you come to Healthline nutrition, it feels like you’re sitting down for a cozy, comforting, and balanced meal with a friend who happens to know a lot about nutrition science.

Here’s to ditching resolutions, in favor of refreshing your eating habits in 2023.

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