By Alecia Miguel

Okay friends, the holiday season is over! And it’s almost that time of year where all of the new year’s resolutions get announced on Facebook. Often times at the top of the list is the goal to lose weight, or to go on a diet. But the reason everyone gets sick of hearing about new year’s resolutions is that very rarely does anybody stick to them. You’ll often hear people say that eating healthy should be a lifestyle and not a diet. I personally like this saying because I don’t want to be stressing out all the time about counting my macros, or what I can’t eat.

There are a lot of approaches to trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, but I think they fall into two broad categories. One is to just eat healthier, whatever that might mean for you and your usual diet. Maybe you want to have less fast food, stop drinking soda, or less mindless snacking. When I first became interested in eating healthier, this is what I did, and it was a good way for me to gain more healthy habits while still being able to enjoy foods I like without any guilt. But some people I’ve talked to about this style find that for them, they need the accountability of a set list of things that they should eat more of, or eat less of — a “diet”, if you will. From my experience with dieting I’ve learned one very important thing, don’t be quick to restrict! Really think about what you want to cut out or add in and do some research! Be sure you can include all the necessary nutrients in whatever diet you choose. Before going on some new diet you learned about on Instagram that makes you lose 10 pounds in one week (*eye-roll*), do your research! I’ll reserve my feelings about the Keto diet for when I get my credentials, but make sure you know all the effects and try to find good, scientific sources with complete information. Chances are any diet that completely cuts out any food group is likely not a good idea.

A trusted resource to use for research like this is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. On their website, eatright.org, you can find tons of evidence-based articles on healthy living, food, exercise, and many more topics. The most important thing is to make sure you feel good and consult a trusted health professional before making any major dietary decisions. Here’s hoping this time next year, you won’t have to add “eat healthier” to your resolutions and you can put fun stuff like “pet more puppies” and “start writing that novel”! Good luck!

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