Are you changing your diet for the new year? Now that it’s halfway through the first month of the New Year, let’s talk about our 2020 food resolutions — or simply, “goals,” if setting formal resolutions isn’t really your thing. See: The Onion.
(I first linked to that a couple of years ago in a post about how to stick with your resolutions, but I still think it’s funny.) It’s been a few years since our last diet open thread (and it feels like a lot has changed since then!?), so:
How are you changing your diet for 2020? If you’ve tried to improve your diet and eating habits in past years and feel like you didn’t succeed, how are you approaching things differently this year?
Note: We’re not framing this as a “weight loss” open thread, but if discussions about losing weight and dieting are triggering or otherwise upsetting to you, you’ll probably want to skip this one.
So, readers, do tell: Are you focusing on any of these goals for the new year, or do you have others to share? What have you made progress on in the past?
- Eating more or less of certain macros/nutrients: Less sugar, more fiber, more protein?
- Focusing on certain types of food: More organic produce, less processed food, less soda, more fruits and veggies? Avoiding — or decreasing your consumption of — certain foods because of principles other than your own health, such as negative impact on the environment (e.g., almond milk, single serve packaging, or beef/dairy)?
- Eating less/cutting calories in general: What are your favorite apps/sites right now to monitor what you eat? MyFitnessPal is an oldie-but-goodie, of course. If you’re a podcast listener, I am sure you’ve heard of Noom (probably multiple times), but have you tried it? How about reader-favorite Stronger U, or the new WW?
- Making more meals at home: Have you used meal prep kits to make this easier? Which are your favorites — Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, HelloFresh, or others? What is your favorite way to find new recipes to try? (Kat just shared her tips on planning dinner every night over at CorporetteMoms.)
- Improving your health stats: Are you trying to reduce your cholesterol or triglycerides, control your glucose, or make some other progress before your next doctor’s appointment?
- Drinking less: Have you decided to make this a Dry January, for example? Perhaps cut out drinking all together?
What are your resolutions or goals for the new year regarding food and eating habits? Do you have weight loss as your focus or simply want to improve your health in general?
Oh, gosh, this is so timely! I had my annual physical this week and the doc suggested trying 12 weeks of pescatarian eating. I’d like to lose some weight but it’s really more about a couple of health markers that could stand a little improvement. DH is on board so we’ll see how it goes. If it works out I think I will make it a permanent thing.
I’ve been pescatarian since the 1st and am loving it so far and feeling great! I think I’ll also make it a permanent thing if I can stick with it.
Good idea for all of us, but especialy for us attorneys older then 35, as we have been working for over 10 years at desks where it causes sedintary behavior and bigger tuchuses (tuchii?). Better diets will help, my OBGYN says. She is about my age, and very svelte b/c she spends her days on her feet, and she has no issues with her weight. I recommend we all exercise more. My dad was right, and I thank him now for telling me to do the 10000 steps / day to ensure my health for the future. YAY Dad!
Is anyone low-carb and vegan? Seems like it would be hard to do…
People with eating disorders who don’t want to admit it.
People who fashion themselves as restrictive with known entities (“I’m vegan but keeping it low carb”) tend to be covering up eating disorders/disordered eating with something that is easy to pass off as a lifestyle choice. It gives them an easy excuse not to eat around other people, not to eat food given, not to meet up for food, etc.
oh wow, you were serious about that…go figure
I have been a vegetarian(bordering on vegan eating) all my life. I say “No, thanks” for lot of foods that people offer if I don’t like it. Guess I have an eating disorder now..
Anon at 2:19 literally no one was saying that!
It’s a known thing that people will say they have super restrictive diets to mask their eating disorder. Being vegetarian/vegan and/ or having preferences or not that at all. Seriously
Not the anon above, but I see what she means. That might be a rather extreme way to put it, but if you are low-carb and vegan, your relationship with food is probably a bit off. But not my circus, not my monkeys.
Yep another vote that being vegan and not liking certain foods is fine. Vegan and low carb is an incredibly restrictive and unhealthy diet (fruit and bread products are not low carb, so you can eat…vegetables? And literally nothing else?) and the people who do diets that restrictive definitely have disordered eating habits, if not a capital-E, capital-D Eating Disorder.
It’s called orthorexia and is a real thing – an eating disorder disguised as healthy eating to an extreme. These are the women that severely restrict their diet to the extreme with little benefit (ex. exclude healthy food categories for no apparent reason other than “they heard it’s bad” or the food has heavy calories, like nuts, even though the person is of normal or under weight) beyond basic healthy eating and is often paired with excessive exercising and portion restriction.
But definitely not all vegetarian and/or low carb people have orthorexia.
We all see the world through our own particular dirty lens. When I see very restrictive eating and counting of anything, I think “socially acceptable eating disorder.”
In the absence of celiac disease or some other medical basis for restriction, that is.
I agree with you. Some of the unhealthiest people I know have been on some wackadoodle diet for “health reasons.”
anon at 4:13, have you considered that seriously ill people are more likely to attempt lifestyle interventions to alleviate their severe conditions? In my experience, doctors encourage experimenting with diet when they know that medications and other treatments are inadequate, because every little bit helps. Many medical conditions and many medications wreck havoc on digestion and make it hard to just eat whatever. Unhealthy people are often on special diets for health reasons, because they are unhealthy!
I feel like if people think this is boring or restrictive, they aren’t that into cooking. My oldest has a dairy and egg allergy so we do a lot of vegan stuff. It wouldn’t be hard to switch out some of the white bread/rice to lower carb but delish options.
LOL. So if you cut out meat, fish, dairy, eggs, wheat, rice, oats, fiber, and who knows what else, it’s proof that you are not a boring cook.
Oookayy, sweetheart. You think that.
Being “not into cooking” is really not the slam / dig you seem to think it is!
It depends on what you mean by “low carb”, I think.
I find that a lot of the vegan recipes (from vegan style bloggers) I see is very starch heavy – lots of bread and very plain pasta. I’m not vegan, but can’t imagine trying to be without being more low starch than some seem to be.
So going low starch, or slow starch, would be a priority I wanted to do vegan. But not low carb as in low amounts fibrous vegetables of fruit! But then low starch is how I eat now.
My husband and I are starting the Mediterranean DASH diet together. He needs to eat for heart health/blood pressure issues, and I need to limit sugar. This eating plan seems the best choice for overlap. I bought the cookbook over the holidays.
I stole a formula from someone else on this board: I do my best to every day get in some leafy greens, a red or orange vegetable, and some berries. So far it’s working out really well for me to have a goal to reach and not a limit to stay within.
I really like this and may steal it as well – I definitely do better when I’m trying to add things to my diet then take things out.
I have posted here before about focusing on goals rather than restrictions! My current goals are leafy greens, nuts, yogurt, and berries daily, fish weekly, iced coffee at lunch (this replaces soda, but I’m focusing on what I want to consume and not what I want to cut out).
I’m just focusing on eating well (mostly real foods etc but not depriving myself of ice cream or a beer)
Two of my friends/neighbors are doing whole 30, which has somewhat rubbed off on me (our friend group hangs out at their house a lot, so snacks are all whole 30 compliant; they’re hosting a dinner party tomorrow night; we’re going on group walks on weekend mornings since we’re not going out drinking, etc)
Overall I’m just being careful with what I’m eating, working out more and tracking it all. Ended up losing 3 pounds in the first week (currently sick so not meal prepping or working out this week…) so I’m happy with my progress!!!
I’m focused on not talking about dieting with other women.
Yeah, this too.
Same. I’ll add not talking about my workout either.
Actually I don’t see the problem with this. I frequently discuss my diet/exercise/weight loss goals with my friends/mom/aunts.
Maybe it’s my circle but it’s natural for us (were all former athletes who still work out etc). We sometimes work out together but we also discuss what we’re eating, recipes, etc.
However, we frequently discuss finances and share financial advice, debate religion and politics, etc so maybe we’re just more free about what we discuss.
I know discussing weight loss/diets can be harmful but certainly not always
Yeah I don’t get why people think it’s a problem. I really enjoy sharing recipes with friends and hearing about fun new workouts. If a friend wants to lose weight or get in better shape wouldn’t it be better to support her rather than ban her from discussing her goal?
I think it is okay to discuss if some one solicits your opinion/help.
I personally stay away from commenting anything related to weight/diet unless specifically asked. Workout is a different matter though. I don’t see any harm in mentioning it or discussing it.
I’m the OP and I’m not avoiding diet talk just because it’s harmful (although I would certainly do so if I had a friend with a history of ED or similar), but because it’s so effing boring I can’t stand it. I am actively cultivating friendships and relationships that have no basis in body size, weight, and diets. I still talk about fun activities like workouts.
YES! I would rather talk about literally anything than diet.
Right. I grew up in a family where everyone was always on some kind of wackadoo diet and in my adult life have experienced that all conversations about diets go the same way as what I observed as a kid – I’m trying this, I tried this before and it didn’t work, the new diet is really similar but somehow I have hope it will work this time. Let me subtly one-up you on how well I’m adhering to my diet vs. how you’re adhering to your diet. Oh, you eat *that*? You should never eat *that.* Blah blah blah, ad infinitum. It’s soooooo booooooring. I would literally rather talk about anything else than people’s diets.
This, for the rest of my life.
I’ve pretty much always tried to avoid discussing weight, diet, and exercise habits with other people unless I am actively engaging in workouts or meal plans with them. But I am struggling a bit with that now because I lost a noticeable amount of weight and started a new exercise program at the end of 2019 and all of the women in my office are making (kind) comments about needing to do whatever I am doing. Only once have they asked specifically and I tried to be pretty circumspect. But I also don’t want to blow them off or seem like I don’t want to share some secret (there is not one!), nor do I want to oversimplify so as to suggest it would be easy for them if they’d just try. What is the right way to handle this?
“Everyone has to find an eating style and exercise program that works for them. I love how working out in the morning gives me great energy” or something non-weight focused. It’s ALWAYS optional to talk about weight.
Did this years ago. Such a boring topic and so glad to be rid of it.
I noticed that I was able to increase my weights more, with less effort, when I was eating more protein, so I’m trying to get at least 20g in each meal, and 10g in any snacks (I’m not really a snack person, so I don’t eat a snack every day). It’s not really a New Year’s thing, though, this has been my goal for the last several months. It’s caused me to realize that vegetarian sources of protein are, well, a lot less full of protein than I’d thought. (A chicken breast is maybe 50g, a PB&J will have more like 10g.) So I’m also trying to figure out how to do this while minimizing my animal product consumption (which I want to do for animal welfare / environmental reasons, not so much for health).
Seitan is protein packed (21 g per 100 calories) and non-animal sourced.
Not sure if you’re looking for vegan or vegetarian options, but some vegetarian options are:
Fage 0% (~20 g per 100 calories)
Egg Whites (24g protein per 100 calories)
Those (and protein powder in a smoothie with Fage) were my standards while being a vegetarian weightlifter getting 140-150 g protein per day.
Thanks – I was trying to find vegan options, but I’ve mostly given up on that and am eating a lot more cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and eggs. And protein powder! (I’m all about the ‘swole oats’ some mornings.)
I should give seitan more of a try, I think – I’ve been eating a lot more tofu (sadly I kind of hate tempeh). I also really love soy curls, so for anyone going this route who eats soy, highly recommend!
Seitan and tempeh both are really good protein sources. Most vegan “lunchmeats” are seitan based if not specifically labeled as such. I also like using lentils or quinoa as the base for a “power bowl” or to throw on top of salads. Nuts unfortunately tend to have a lot more fat than protein per calorie (but are therefore a great source of healthy fats!)
In case you check this thread again, Field Roast makes amazing seitan sausages that are vegan. I also eat plain seitan, but Field Roast is … just so delicious.
Also, Quorn makes a decent vegan “chicken” sub. 120 calories and 17g protein per serving. TBH I prefer their vegetarian pieces (egg whites), but the vegan one is good.
I also like Nutritional Yeast for a topper, I think Red Star has like 8g protein per 2T (just looked it up, and yes, 60 calories). I’m sure if you’re vegan you’re using it, though. Easy & delicious.
I’m working on eating mindfully, versus being distracted by phone / computer / TV, etc.
I really have to stop eating so much takeout. I’m single, live alone, and hate cooking for myself. I’m so lazy and just don’t care. I tried a meal box subscription but a lot of it went to waste because the last thing I want to do when I get home from a long, tiring day is cook.
I meal prep my lunches and make sure I have a healthy/filling lunch and then 9 times out of 10 my dinner is healthy snacking (veggies and hummus etc) or a frozen TJs meal
I hate cooking during the week also, so what I’ve started doing to making two meals on the weekend that have 4-6 servings. Then I will have one for lunch all week and the other for dinner. This doesn’t work if you hate eating the same thing a few days in a role, but it has been working great for me and drastically cut down the amount I get delivery for just me.
This is more or less me. I usually make a soup, a bean dish, and a roasted vegetable dish. Sometimes I will make rice or pasta during the week to add variety, otherwise I eat these things in combination. When I’m making a dish that freezes well (like one cheesy bean recipe I like), I make extra and freeze serving size portions, and 1-2 times a week I’ll pull something from the freezer for variety. I probably spend 2 hours on the weekend cooking but end up eating healthy, homemade food most of the week.
I’ve had good luck making big batches of soup in my Instant Pot.
Try Daily Harvest? Get the “bowls” and they come frozen. Just nuke, mix and eat. Basically microwave meals without the salt.
Me too. I do cook stuff, but mostly it’s rewarming things I bought from Whole Foods or Citarella. I work very hard and when I get home, I turn on the TV, and open the refridgerator and start eating until I am full. That is why my tuchus is a bit to large for the rest of my body, and why I need to start dieting. FOOEY!
One thing I used to do when I was single and living alone was that I’d cook after dinner – I’d come home from work, eat leftovers, then cook the next night (or two’s) meal after I’d eaten and wasn’t ravenous. It sounds odd but it worked pretty well for me.
Intermittent fasting with 20 hour fasts and 4 hour eating window. I made the switch when I was at home during the holidays. Today is 25th day and going strong.
Do you mind sharing what your eating window is? I’m doing an 8 hour window right now (12:30-8:30pm), which my doctor wants me to shorten to 6, but I’m having a hard time making it work with my work schedule (harder for me to eat lunch later, harder to get home and cook/eat dinner in time).
Fortunately, I am at work just during regular hours (8 AM to 5 PM). I eat between 5:30PM and 9:30PM. So, I don’t eat at work at all (added bonus, stops me from eating sugary stuff that co-workers leave in the break room for people to eat). I come home, eat fruits, nuts, cheese and a slice of bread. That gives me enough energy to cook and any other activities I need to do during the evening. I eat dinner between 8:30 and 9 PM and occasional dessert before 9:30 PM.
What’s your doctor’s rational for wanting to shorten it? Women on IF generally do better with a longer eating window then men. Harvard Health has a couple of articles on this.
I’m not really sure – I basically cut her off and said it wasn’t doable with my schedule. I guess minimizing the amount of time your glucose is fluctuating even further? There are definitely some days where I’m not hungry and could push my 12:30pm lunch to 2:30pm, but I don’t think I’m going to try to push it.
Oof. I do an 8 hour window (noon to 8pm) and while I think I could shave a bit on each end and do a 7 hour pretty easily, I do not think there’s any way I could do a 4 hour window and maintain any sort of normal life.
I am the OP, my husband is the same way. He can just do 16:8. He says he literally feels pain to stretch to 20. He feels painfully hungry and cannot focus on work or anything for that matter. He also feels some sort of discomfort even after eating when he tries to do more than 16:8. So he just sticks to 16:8.
I feel like I can barely do an 8 hour window. I normally do 11-7 but then that messes with brunch on the weekends, so I’ve started doing it on weekdays only. I’m not really in it for the weight loss though.
I hope your body is tolerating that well because it’s pretty well recommended that IF on women, due to different hormonal needs of men, only fast in 10 to 14 hr increments at most.
How is “fasting in 10 hour increments” even a fast? People sleep (or should be sleeping) 8 hours at night and it’s really not that hard to not eat for an hour or two before bed or an hour after waking up. I feel like most people do that without trying, especially if they make an effort not to do mindless late-night snacking.
Most sources I’ve seen say 14-16 hour fasts are best for women.
OP here..yes I am tolerating it very well. I could do 16:8 without any effort as another well I was forcing myself eating breakfast following “You shouldn’t skip breakfast, breakfast is the most important meal of the day” which used to be well recommended but now debunked. I also followed another recommendation “You should eat six small meals a day” which worsened my metabolic syndrome and gain unwanted weight. So, I trust how I feel and other objective markers (menstrual cycle duration and flow, glucose levels etc) than general recommendations.
Like Lauren B – I’m trying to eat more mindfully. For lunch at work, I’m actually sitting in one of my guest chairs on the other side of my desk so that I am not looking at my computer. Deep down, I know that I do not get any work (or at least, any good work) done while I’m also trying to eat lunch, so I am taking a 15 minute break to just sit and eat. So far (so, like for a week and half) it’s been going really well.
health-wise, I’m just continuing to eat a balanced diet, getting some fruits and veggies everyday. Most of my motivation to try out new things comes from a desire to cut my carbon footprint. So I am on the lookout for recipes to increase legumes and to expand my rotation of veggies. I am also tracking the animal products I buy each time I grocery shop, and after two months of this I want to compare with the composition of foods that scientist suggest as the sweet spot between healthy and sustainable. I like tracking and looking at data, so this is a fun experiment rather than a chore to me. I’m planning to switch to fake meat for chili, pasta sauces and burgers, so except for maybe a brisket once a year, I think I can cut beef. I don’t like lamb at all, so that is easy to cut. When it comes to dairy, I realized that I can probably substitute half or so of my butter by margarine, cocoa butter, or oil, which makes a big difference. Since I love (almost) all cheeses equally, I buy more soft cheeses which are slightly better.
the other thing I try to do is incorporate The Forgotten Ones from my pantry into the ongoing meal plan. Either use them up and get rid of them or learn to love those weird ingredients.
What are the forgotten ones?
I think the OP was referring to items that sit unused in the pantry for months or years. I am trying to do this, too.
Same! I’ve never been much of a meat eater. While I’m not officially vegetarian, I almost never eat meat and I’ve been trying to be more mindful of my dairy consumption as well for carbon footprint purposes.
I’m trying to work more on the mental part of weight loss this time around. I’ve been listening to podcasts from Corinne Crabtree in the car during my commute to/from work. Her podcast is called, “Losing 100 Pounds with Phit-N-Phat.”
She’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea (lots of profanity), but I enjoy her “no nonsense” approach and focus on emotional eating.
As far as my eating, I’ve completely given up caffeine – it got to the point where it was aggravating too many health issues.
Podcasts! I discovered two recently that I like. More on the sciencey side “Food, We Need To Talk” and “Magic Pill”. But are recommended.
Thanks for your recommendation – I need more to listen to.
When meal planning, pick one interesting salad to make for dinner and also to make a soup or stew.
Pescatarian for 2020 – mainly for eco reasons. I did a vegan month in 2019 and missed cheese, yoghurt, and honey the most, so mainly adding those back in.
I am doing the Mediterranean MIND diet, which is a variation of the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet that focuses on leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans and reduced beef/pork, reduced cheese and limited/no fast food or junk and limited deserts – mainly homemade which limits the boring store bought treats. This is an easy eating plan for me, except for the low beef/pork just because I like variety. But it should help me stave off dementia, high blood pressure and other ills and maintain my weight loss. The stats on the MIND part are pretty compelling – even if you don’t follow it your entire life or 100%, you can still get some benefits from it.
Trying red “superfoods” mix for a month. Along with a cute new shaker water bottle from Target. It was with the New Year stuff in the dollar section. Power from amazon.
Mostly plant based and pescatarian with a 16:8 IF since 4/19. Family history of dementia really caused me to shift my eating. I eat large amounts of vegetables in every combination and at least a cup of some type of berry daily. I aim for organic and try to batch roast vegetables and cook whole grains on the weekends. I’ve lost 15 pounds and blood tests had shown improvement 6 months in. I will eat beef or cheese (once a month or so) but do not miss chicken, pork, or lamb. Need to work on variety and making more actual meals than “bowls”.
Small Law Partner
I realized my diet was just red meat, veggies, fruit, eggs, nuts, and yogurt. I realized I was eating red meat 10-14 times a week (!). So less red meat – trying to cut to 4 times a week. And trying to find carby sides I like. The struggle is real for someone who does not actually like chicken or fish, or bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.
I randomly opened the Apple health steps app and realized how sedentary I’ve gotten over the past year. I’m trying to up my daily step count from about 2k-3k to 5k-6k. Anyone have ideas for how to work in more steps outside of specific workout time? I’ve started parking at the farther end of the lot and taking the stairs exclusively but not sure other than that.
At a previous job, I used to do walking meetings with people who were also trying to sit less. It really added up. I also had a colleague who used to walk to review agreements. He would take a pen and stop to mark something when he needed to.
Morning, all! I’m reading these with great appreciation for seeing folks share my challenges and struggles! I’ve struggled forever but have some physical goals that are especially inspiring me for 2020. (Specific travel plans…) I also have the doc reminding me this is the time to lose these extra pounds.
So I wanted to offer that I have recently joined NOOM. And I love it, so far. They say it takes ten minutes a day, not including food logging. There are no foods off limits and they pitch this as a way of life, not a diet. Foods are categorized based on calorie density and goals are established for three density types. (Green Yellow Red). No foods are off limits but the focus is on real and unprocessed. (I can have two truffles per day, or a glass of wine, sometimes.)
There is also a big focus daily on the process. So looking into the science of food, or the psychology of developing habits and overcoming low motivation. You are given a personal coach and placed in a group. I’m still evaluating these aspects!
I am already a fan. It’s making me mindful in a wholistic way, which speaks to my personality. I already see how much I’m feeling better.
And I’m drinking water. Lots and lots of water. And I have reminders on my phone to make sure I’m drinking it throughout the day. (How is it possible we need this much water)
My new year deal was around $150 and seems worth every penny! I have a referral link for 20% off…but don’t want to share it that’s not appropriate here.
I have been doing IF for the last 2 years (1 pm – 8 pm eating window, roughly), thanks to this community, and feel amazing. So I will continue doing that. Other goals:
– Keep cooking a lot. I have really come to enjoy cooking over the years and want to keep at it.
– Make more new recipes — last year I got into a bit of a rut making the same things often
– Eat more greens. You would think as a vegetarian I would do this already, but I don’t.