Nutrition Tips For The New Year

Nutrition Tips For The New Year

Nutrition Tips For The New Year

By: Registered dietitians and nutritionists at JM Nutrition. Learn more about our team. Updated December 29, 2023

Are you looking for nutrition tips for the new year? Look no further. Our team of registered dietitians and nutritionists has put together a list of diet and nutrition advice to help kickstart the year on a good note.

 

So, let’s jump right to it, shall we?

 

Alana Haggerty, Registered Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Focus on what you can add to your diet rather than what you can cut out

Reframing our mindset to stem from a state of abundance when it comes to food and thinking about what we can add to our diet is often more beneficial than trying to cut out certain components. Eliminating foods can lead to a stronger desire for that food and increased potential to over-indulge.

On the other hand, shifting our mindset and focusing on what we can add to our diets can be a fun way to incorporate healthy components into our lifestyle without that looming desire for a certain food that we have deemed ‘off limits’.

For example, you can set a goal to incorporate more plant-based products into your diet regime. As a result, this may even lead to decreased meat intake, which is often higher in saturated fats and thought to be less heart healthy. 

2. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be fancy

A nutritious meal doesn’t mean you have to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. I encourage you to go back to the basics and think of a standard balanced plate: ¼ protein foods, ¼ whole grains/carbohydrates and ½ plate vegetables. It’s simple, really!

If you’re in a rush or have minimal time, try relying on the quick foods you have at home to create a balanced meal. Frozen options are just as healthy as fresh as they are often flash frozen right away with all their nutrients intact, if they aren’t packed in any excess sugar and/or salt. 

3. Plan ahead

Planning in advance prevents decision fatigue and can leave you feeling drained. Try to set aside a day, or a part of it, for meal preparation and to plan out your week.

Having nutritious prepared foods readily available can help prevent reaching for the quick foods, which are often higher in sugar, calories, saturated fat, salt, etc.

In addition, it can help cut back on the cost of food by decreasing frequency of eating out and cutting back on the cost of groceries. This may also assist with decreasing food waste. 

Related: Create a Healthy Food Environment

Meal planning and prepping tips

Alana is an Edmonton registered dietitian who provides nutritional counselling to the residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and more. Alana focuses her practice on nutritional support for endurance athletes, strength training diet support and much more.

 

Lyndsay Hall, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Make a grocery list of staples

Grocery lists can serve multiple purposes, especially today. With costs rising, planning out groceries for the week allows you to purchase what you need, so that you are less likely to spend money on unnecessary items. It also ensures that you utilize everything you’re purchasing.

Additionally, when you have your meals and snacks planned out for the week, it allows you to eat much more mindfully. Perhaps you are less likely to opt for take-out food, if you have food in the fridge to use up. Of course, things may come up throughout the week or weekend that prevent you from making an extensive grocery list every week, so even just having a list of staples that you can resort to when you’re pressed for time can make a big difference. Learn more about grocery shopping tips.

2. Meet your vitamin D needs

As the winter takes up a good 5 months of the year for many of those who live in the north, it is important to make sure we are keeping on top of our vitamin D requirements.

Vitamin D is important for supporting bone health, mood and our immune systems. There are limited dietary sources of vitamin D, so many of us acquire it through the sun.

Therefore, during the winter months (October to April), it may be necessary to take a vitamin D3 supplement in order to meet your needs. As always, individual needs vary, so we suggest discussing dosage with your healthcare provider. Learn about the recommended Vitamin D dosage.

Lyndsay is a weight loss dietitian who provides digestive health support, pre- and post-natal support, nutritional support for children, family nutrition counselling, thyroid diet counselling and more.

 

Maude Morin, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Consume fermented foods daily

This is an often omitted nutrition tip for the new year or any other time, for that matter.

Fermented foods like yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha and sourdough breads are good sources of probiotics–the live and active components of our large bowel that help you break down foods to gain the benefits of their nutrients. A diversity of probiotics can lead to improved digestion, weight management, mood and mental health, immunity and overall health outcomes. 

Related: Gut Health 101: Digestive Health Basics

Mental health dietitian and nutritionist

2. Find ways to manage stress

Long-term elevated stress can lead to an array of health issues including depression and anxiety, heart disease, digestive problems and even diabetes. There’s nothing more relatable than the “productive”, “hustle” and “busy” driven culture that we’ve grown into post-pandemic. For your well-being, make time for rest (mental, emotional, physical, digital), including stress-reducing practices. It’s also important to be intentional about accepting new stressors in your life.

Discover more about the connection between diet and stress.

Maude is a women’s health dietitian, who also provides PCOS dietary management, FODMAP diet support, IBS diet support, other digestive health conditions, and more.

 

Kyle Butler, Sports Nutrition Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Focus on what you can add to your diet

A good nutrition tip for the new year is to try to focus on what you can add to the diet, rather than trying to restrict foods or take things away.

By using this approach, you put the emphasis on incorporating more nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and more, while still allowing some room for other “fun” foods that you also enjoy.

2. Don’t forget water

Start each day with a large glass of water. It’s important to rehydrate yourself after a long night’s sleep. You may also notice a boost in energy and better digestion with your first meal of the day, if adequately hydrated.

Learn more about the importance of drinking water, its benefits and how much to drink daily.

Related: Cold Hydrating Foods For The Summer

3. Plan

As Winston Churchill once said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” This is no doubt a good nutrition tip for the new year as well.

Most people tend to find more success with their eating habits when they have a plan in place. I recommend dedicating 30-60 minutes each week to sit down, think about and write down what meals and snacks you want to eat for the following week.

What’s more, look in your cupboards, fridges, freezers and pantries to see what ingredients you have on hand. You can then make a grocery list of what you need to buy. You are more likely to succeed if you don’t leave the meal planning for the last minute, which may lead to making less nutritious food choices.

Kyle is a nutritionist for team sports and individual sports, men’s health nutritionist, strength training nutritionist and dietitian, and more.

 

Kirsten Swantee, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Plan in advance

It’s important to plan your meals 1-2 days in advance. This helps you to stay organized, cuts down on prep time in the kitchen and helps to answer the question of “what’s for dinner?” before it’s already dinner time and you’re already hungry!

Doing so can also help to cut down on food waste if you make a plan to use your ingredients before they go bad.

2. Batch it up

Prep 1 or 2 bigger batch meals. Soup, stew, chilli, stir fry–all work well. You can then use these meals throughout the week and don’t have to cook a different meal every evening.

3. Cook once, eat twice

If you are going to take the time to cook a meal, why not make extra portions? That way, you don’t have to cook every night, but instead can cook every second or third night. This is a great nutrition tip for the new year as it helps to save you time. And who couldn’t use more time?

4. Eat enough throughout the day

Have 1-2 snacks in addition to your breakfast and lunch. Doing so will help you remain satisfied throughout the day. It can also help to decrease overeating in the late afternoon and evenings.

5. Hydrate

If you don’t love drinking plain water, then you can try decaf herbal teas, sparkling water or add natural flavouring such as lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or orange. All of these will help you stay hydrated.

Related: Summer Nutrition

Kirsten is a registered dietitian for arthritis and anti-inflammatory diet support, weigh loss counselling, PCOS, IBS, and more. 

 

Tiffany Thai, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Break it down

Lifestyle changes can be intimidating, when first starting to make them. Of course, as we become more used to things, comfort sets in. It takes about 21 days to create a habit, so use this as a time period to carry out a change.

For example, try consistently adding vegetables to all dinner meals for 21 days. After this, try doing the same for lunch as well.

Recommended: Atomic Habits by James Clear

2. Focus on how you eat

Don’t forget to think about how you eat, rather than simply focussing on what you eat. It takes effort to actively think about the process of eating. We are often distracted with work, TV, or our phones, and neglect to listen to our hunger and satiety cues.

3. Make it sustainable

Be cautious of quick fixes as these often do not take nutritional needs into account. A healthy lifestyle change should be flexible and adaptable to your day-to-day for it to last.

Tiffany is a Crohn’s dietitian, Colitis dietitian, digestive health, dietitian for high cholesterol, fatty liver diet support, and more.

 

Natalie Fraser, Registered Sports Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Eat together

Making changes to achieve your goals doesn’t have to be isolating. When hosting or preparing meals for your family, focus on choosing recipes that can be adaptable for any dietary preference. This strategy will relieve stress around eating in front of others and make weeknight meals a breeze. This can look like building your own bowls, tacos, or wraps that are easily customized to suit everyone.

For example, try this recipe: Build your own Buddha Bowl

2. Social settings can still be a safe place to reach your goals

Offer to bring an appetizer or suggest a vegetable based appetizer, when dining out with friends or family. By bringing a dish, you can ensure there is an option that will help you to apply the balanced plate method in any setting while supporting the host. Remember that you are not required to justify any food choice you make.

For example, try these crowd-pleasing appetizers: Greek Hummus Dip or Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with Chipotle Lime Aioli

3. Prepare in advance

Never leave for an away game or the house without reviewing your food options first. Check out restaurant menus that are close to the area you’re competing at to see what balanced options they offer for refuelling after long competition days.

Limited choices available?

Batch cook in advance to help limit relying on convenience food options that may limit your energy and recovery time. This strategy saves time and money!

Natalie is a registered dietitian who provides nutritional support for individual sport athletes, as well as those athletes who take part in team sports. In addition, Natalie offers nutritional counselling for general health, helping to address a wide variety of health concerns. 

 

Jordan Thompson, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Up your fibre intake

Increase your intake of fibre by choosing a variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily. Fibre is important for bowel health, and will help to keep you feeling full for longer after a meal. It may also help to lower your cholesterol levels and manage your blood sugar

 

Nataly Georgieva, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Avoid the restrict-binge cycle

Frequently, folks will choose to restrict certain foods from their diet for various reasons, such as pursuing weight loss, following a new diet, or due to thinking it is a “bad” food. Regardless of the intention, the psychological impact is the same, whereby cravings for the restricted foods increase due to feeling deprived and wanting what one cannot have. This can then lead to consuming the food in excess once a person finally has access to it, leading to feelings of guilt, shame, and a lack of self-trust. As a result of such feelings, all too often the restriction then continues, and the cycle repeats. 

Such an approach is not only damaging to one’s relationship with food, but it also sends the message that one cannot trust themselves around food. Folks tend to blame themselves, thinking that bingeing is due to a lack of “willpower” when the truth is, bingeing is triggered by restriction. The more food rules we put upon ourselves, the less control we actually have. When we allow ourselves unconditional permission to eat, that sense of urgency to have to eat the food in excess actually decreases due to knowing that the food is available if and when we want it.

Nataly Georgieva is a registered dietitian for eating disorder and disordered eating support. Specifically, Nataly works with clients who suffer from binge eating disorder, ARFID and more.

 

Kinga Balogh, Registered Dietitian

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Eat intuitively

Certainly, this a new year nutrition tip that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Begin to connect to your body’s wisdom and signalling. Staying in touch and honouring hunger, fullness and meal satisfaction clues serves well in the long run. It will allow for choosing the right types of foods, consuming the optimal amounts and feeling more empowered and in charge around self-nourishment.

Digestion, energy levels, mood, hormonal balance are just a few of the indicators that will optimize, when one strives to bring mindfulness to the eating experience. As efforts to establish a more peaceful relationship with food and one’s physical appearances take root, the temptation to be swayed by diet hacks, elimination protocols and cleanses will subside. Enjoyment of a variety of foods, without strict diet rules, guilt or shame can become a freeing experience.

For those with a history of eating disorders or disordered eating, intuitive eating can be an elusive goal. Professional guidance is often necessary to allow for mindfulness to settle around eating routines. Adopting a mindset full of curiosity and body kindness rather than self-judgment and flexibility rather that rigidity around self-care will also be necessary to pull away from diet mentality that is so rampant in our appearance focused society today.

Related:

Intuitive Eating: Principles, Challenges and Important Considerations

2. Move your body joyfully

Consider engaging in activities that bring joy and pleasure, instead of workout routines that feel militant, leaving you exhausted and depleted instead of rejuvenated. 

Frequently, people struggle to maintain activity routines, as they are taking part in movement as a way to gain permission to eat more decadent food choices, shrink their bodies or other cosmetic reasons. When the results do not materialize as desired, people abandon these routines, despite improvement in metabolic fitness. As popular as tracking devices are, they may take away from a truly mindful experience around joyful movement as well.

Rather than directing attention to your body and how it moves through strokes while swimming, strides while walking or climbs while heading up to a peak, you may become distracted by heart rate, step counter or calorie monitors.

What to do instead?

Focus on internal motivators that are experienced gradually, rather than right away. These include mood enhancement, decreased stress, improved sleep, improved body image regardless of weight. 

At the same time, focus less on external cues: calories burned, weight or body composition change.

Trusting that the body will respond positively to enhanced activity patterns, instead of imposing expectations is a more constructive approach to maintaining optimal movement patterns beyond the notorious New Year’s resolutions.

3) Cultivate self-compassion

Talk to and care for yourself in ways you address your loved ones. Begin to observe and map out the behaviours you are hoping to change with non-judgmental awareness.

As a dietitian specializing in eating disorders, I often see people relying on food or exercise for emotional reasons. Regarding food, they may restrict, overeat or engage in a combination of both through the binge-restrict cycle.

Pertaining to movement, they may under- or over-exercise, often contributing to injuries.

It’s also important to help in the spirit of self-compassion, as you can more readily unearth the reasons for disordered behaviours and peel away the layers of shame and guilt so often present in your life.

In addition, this can allow you to stay more committed in the discovery and trialing of coping strategies that involve non-food related behaviours. 

As you recover from dysfunctional eating, you learn a great deal about yourself. You begin to appreciate the wisdom of your body and ultimately become clear on their needs for self-care and assertively communicate them in relationship with others.

Behaviour change without self-compassion does not allow you to silence the inner-critic or to dismantle self-sabotaging behaviours more permanently. Essentially, it is like playing contact sports without protective gear.

Kinga is a dietitian for eating disorders and disordered eating, emotional eating, self-acceptance and more.

More from Kinga: Benefits and Risks of Ozempic

The Impact of Marijuana on Eating Behaviours and Disordered Eating

 

Stephanie Metzger, Nutritionist

New Year Nutrition Tips:

1. Practice mindful eating

Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re feeling satisfied, not full. Sit down and relax while you’re eating and chew your food thoroughly.

This mindful approach to eating can promote a healthier relationship with food, prevent unnecessary overeating and improve digestion.

2. Eat the rainbow

Consume a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables. This will ensure that you are getting a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that contribute to a well-rounded diet and that are also beneficial for overall health.

3. Incorporate healthy fats

Enjoy foods rich in healthy fats. These include avocados, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, avocado and olive oil. These fats are necessary for brain function, nutrient absorption and hormone regulation. Consider taking an omega 3 supplement as well. Be mindful of your portions as these healthy fats are also high in calories.

Stephanie is a registered nutritionist who focuses on a number of areas, including women’s health, digestive health, weight management, skin health nutrition support and more. 

 

Conclusion

There you have it. Our nutrition tips for the new year. We hope that you take away one or more tips from here, and incorporate it in your daily lives. If, at any point, you require support or guidance while you do so, please let us know and we will gladly help.

If you require an appointment on-site or prefer online support with a nutritionist and dietitian, contact us or book a free consultation

 

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JM Nutrition is a nutrition service by registered dietitians and nutritionists in Canada. Main office: registered dietitians Toronto.

Author: Julie Mancuso

Julie Mancuso

admin@julienutrition.com

Julie Mancuso is a graduate of the University of Toronto, founder and owner of JM Nutrition, a nutritional counselling service by registered dietitians and nutritionists. For 15+ years, JM Nutrition has helped thousands reach their health, wellness and nutrition goals. Julie and her team regularly lend their expertise to a variety of health publications such as Reader's Digest, Livestrong, Business Insider, Food Network, Today's Parent, MyFitnessPal, Toronto Star, Elle Magazine, Best Life, Weight Watchers and many more.