5 Ways To Clean Up Your Diet For The New Year

Written by mindbodygreen

In December, you oscillated between being your usual health-warrior self and a junk-food obsessed buffet grazer.

Maybe you kept up with your workout routine (more likely, maybe you didn't) in a feeble attempt to counteract your new 11AM chocolate chip cookie habit.

A healthy salad at lunch might have been followed by a 3PM internal hissy fit titled, Why am I not eating pie?

"Liquid diet" went from meaning juice 'til dinner to "Another glass of champagne, please."

It was the holidays. We're all forgiven.

Now it's time for New Year, New You—a new game plan in the diet department. Here's how to clean up your eating habits for a healthy you in 2015.

1. Start with your beverages.

If it feels a little overwhelming to address every corner of your holiday-wrecked diet at once, then just start by spending a few days thinking about what you drink.

What are some good beverage options? Water (obviously), fresh juice, and tea, which offers a hand-to-mouth motion that can help get you through those tenacious between-meal munchies.

2. Add more veggies!

Eating more vegetables is a good place to start any healthy diet plan, and now is a great time to bump up your intake of greens. The holidays may have encouraged an abundance of treats, but if you start incorporating a salad into each meal, you'll shift to a new habit in no time.

If salads feel like too much work (so much chopping!), smoothies, juices and nutrition bars are easy options to kickstart a healthier lifestyle.

3. Seek out fiber.

To add fiber to your diet, increase the amount of clean, healthy fruits, vegetables and legumes that you eat each day, which won't leave much room for the unhealthy stuff. Some snacks can offer a good source of fiber as well; LARABAR Coconut Cream Pie has 5 grams of fiber, so it is possible to get your fiber on the go. Plus, getting enough fiber ensures that the food moves through your body at a healthy rate.

4. Eat mindfully by eating slowly.

Mindfulness can help improve just about every area of your life, including eating. Start by preparing your own meals; connecting with your food on a physical level is a smart way to bring more awareness to what you're putting inside your body.

When you're eating what you've prepared, make an effort to chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Not only does this aid digestion, but chewing mindfully helps you become more attuned to the flavors you're consuming. Don't forget to get rid of the distractions at the dinner table – eating while scrolling through your phone may feel efficient, but it detracts from the beautiful, real food you've chosen to feed your body.

5. Practice "less is more."

Now you're ready for a real challenge: For each meal, aim for 10 ingredients or less. In order to achieve the depth of flavor you'll want on your plate, you'll have no choice but to gravitate to fresh whole foods, which pack tons of natural flavors on their own. Your meals will start to look super simple, you'll save time, and you won't remember how you ever bothered with all those heavy holiday dishes.

And, no, this doesn't mean a lifetime without treats. Did you know that each delicious, dessert-inspired original LARABAR product contains no more than nine ingredients? Talk about a win!

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