Eating right and exercising are always at the top of everyone’s priorities and New Year’s resolutions. Once we begin to embark on our getting healthy journey, we realize how many rules and strict guidelines we feel there are. Our food and beverage consumption as well as our exercise routines completely change ; and it feels like we won’t be able to manage it. Instead of focusing so much on what you can and can’t do, realize how many things you can do. Healthy diets are not rigid and you have way more choices than you think!

Diet “Rules” – Some can, and should, be broken!

No Carbs

We have all heard this one! Of course this doesn’t mean you can go get a full loaf of bread and eat that everyday; but carbs are there for us, in moderation, for energy and digestion! Fruits, sweet potatoes, and some veggies are good carbs we want to keep in our diet. Pastries and desserts, white breads, rice, and pastas are those that we need to limit; these are the carbs that cause the weight gain and spike in blood sugars. Switch the white for brown (rice, pastas, and breads). Can you have some of the “bad carbs”? Yes! Just limited and not on your everyday diet.

Salads Everyday

Having the same thing everyday to eat can get boring and monotonous. Eating only salads or the same veggies and protein for each meal may get you results, but it can lead to over indulging and slips; or even a relapse in healthy eating. Try and experiment with different types of sandwiches, broth-based soups, grilled veggies, and whole-grain salads to change it up. You will discover flavors and foods you may never realized you were into! Funny thing happens when you start to eat healthy – your taste buds change and you crave the healthy stuff!

No Desserts, Fried Food or Alcohol!

Everyday? No. We all know these types of foods and beverages, consumed on a regular basis and in high amounts, cause high blood pressure, weight gain, high cholesterol, and myriads of other unhealthy issues. We have all heard “in moderation”, but what does that really mean? Can you have desserts, fried foods, and alcohol? Yes, but not every day or even several times a week. Pick a day once a month when you use these types of foods, not as rewards, but as something special; a date night or celebrations. Does this mean you have to eat salad everyday? No. It just means that the “no desserts, fried foods and alcohol” rule is meant to be broken sometimes. The more you see these foods and drinks as “nevers”, Once you begin to treat food as something that nourishes your body and fuels you, you can see the sweets, fried foods, and alcohol as something to really savor and save for a special occasion.

Starting a new healthy life is mentally draining. We automatically think about what we can and can’t eat, how we feel empty or scared. We often feel this way when there are rules or strict guidelines to follow. Guidelines and rules don’t have to be scary; they are there to help us make good changes and be a better version of ourselves. But, there are times when you can treat yourself and see those foods as treats and something special; not an everyday thing like we may do now. Live your life as healthy as possible and you will see breaking some of the diet rules once in a while, you can still lose weight, be healthy, and feel amazing! Happy 2016!