A recent survey revealed that as Americans attempt to eat a healthy diet, small indulgences remain popular. While 77% of Americans tout their healthy eating habits, 55% said they experience set backs such as snacking on junk food, due to lack of motivation, stress and a busy schedule. The survey randomly polled over 1,000 consumers in the US, UK and France.
I find comfort in this survey because I am like most of you and enjoy my treats. We want to manage calories without compromising the little things in life that make us smile, including dessert. The survey was fielded on behalf of Truvia natural sweetener which helps lighten up some of my favorite desserts like these gluten-free macaroons that I made for Valentine’s Day. I’m also a 2014 ambassador for them but have been using their packets for over 5 years.
The findings reinforced that we, Americans, are trying to eat a healthier diet (Yay!), but we are not ready to all become raw vegans or sugar-free clean eating perfectionists. To help stick with your healthy diet while balancing small indulgences, here are 5 small switches from my The Nutrition Twins that will jump start your health as Spring approaches.
- Follow the Red, Green and Orange Rule. At each of your meals, include either a red, green or orange fruit or vegetable. You’ll focus on what you should be eating rather than what you should stay away from and you’ll fill up on nutrient-, antioxidant-, and fiber-rich foods that are an important part of a balanced diet.
- Focus on quality carbohydrates like sweet potato, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, beans or oatmeal. Foods like these are fiber- and nutrient-packed sources of long lasting energy. Both your brain and muscles will be fueled appropriately to help stave off cravings and squash hunger. As an added bonus, veggies have their own specific health- and beauty-related benefits, such as fennel and artichokes for beating bloat, squash and green beans for fighting stress, tomatoes and cucumbers for improving skin tone and carrots and beans for fighting cancer, etc.
- Sneak in exercise. It’s not always possible to get to the gym each day, but it’s important to sneak in exercise wherever you can. Take stairs instead of the elevator at work or push your kids on the swings for an arm workout. Even if you walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, it counts. Just get moving!
- Use zero-calorie sweeteners like Truvia® natural sweetener in your coffee, tea, oatmeal and yogurt to cut calories. You can still enjoy sweetness, but with zero calories. Small changes can add up – if you save 100 calories a day, that equals a 10-pound weight loss over the course of the year. I use stevia in my Greek yogurt, oatmeal and tea to get my sweet fix without tapping into my calorie bank for the day.
- Shut off your electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. Computers, TVs, phones, and iPads—they all stimulate your mind and disrupt sleep. Interrupted sleep and sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and negatively affects your immune system.
Check out the full findings from the survey mentioned above, down below.
Disclaimer: I am a 2014 Truvia brand ambassador. All opinions expressed are my own and the cookies mentioned above tasted awesome. No weird aftertaste.