How to eat healthier in 2021

Raw avocado and mint brownies – Markus’ favorite.

Instead of vowing to lose weight in January, why not consider the more sustainable resolution of eating healthier in 2021?

There is less pressure, the concept is entirely positive, and it does not demand that we go on a diet. And yes, we will still lose weight – just in case you were wondering.

Here are some simple, everyday tips to make it happen.

1. Do not eat less.

Starvation is as motivating as receiving a new calendar for Christmas. If we are to lose weight, we must have the desire to do so. What do we want to do? Eat. What do we want to skip? Dieting. How can we make it happen? By making healthier food swaps so we eat better and not less.

For example, instead of eating calorie-dense lasagna, try a fresh tomato pasta with fragrant herbs and spices or eat two cookies instead of six. Nothing is really taken away, only enjoyed in a new way.

2. Drink more water.

Life drastically changed when my sister gave me a reusable water bottle. I carry it everywhere and feel so much better for it. I cannot recommend it enough.

Not only does hydration eliminate headaches triggered by thirst, but it also prevents unnecessary snacking. Thirst is a delayed bodily reaction, and more important, the brain confuses it with hunger sometimes. Instead of reaching for a glass of water, it tells you to eat something. That is not very waist-friendly, is it?

3. Simplify plant-based meals.

Before going for Meatless Mondays full-on, take baby steps and simply try one plant-based item in a day. Keep it simple so there is no shock. Easy options include pizza margarita, twice-baked potatoes, hummus and flat bread, crispy leftover veg pancakes, and vegetarian pad Thai. It can really be easy and refreshing, not to mention super tasty.

4. Keep the desserts!

I can personally say that the number one reason I work out is so I can have dessert. Totally worth it. And even if we want to eat healthier, we can continue enjoying dessert as long as we are mindful of our consumption.

Having a slice of cheesecake does not make us a bad person. The point is to be conscious of our goals and eat intentionally. Know when enough is enough.

5. Start moving.

The uplifting effects of eating healthier paired with exercise cannot be underestimated. Who would not enjoy waking up light and refreshed in the morning? When we match our conscious eating efforts with physical activity, we will discover new things about our bodies and become more inspired as we continue to feel better every day.

Eating healthier does not have to be the way of the cross – we just have to adjust small things about our daily habits and we will lose weight naturally and for the long-term. What are you trying this 2021 to be kinder to your body and eat better?

45 thoughts on “How to eat healthier in 2021

  1. Now, Linda will choose a dessert every time (and do I get champagne with that?) in preference to anything else ๐Ÿ˜‚ For me it is to rediscover exercise. My foot needs an operation, which will happen hopefully before June. In the meantime, I keep chipping away in the garden with some good results now happening. Also, I am cooking all manner of things in the pizza oven ๐Ÿ˜Š

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      1. I am trying to drink more water, Micah. I got into a good habit for the last quarter of the year but things always go a bit haywire during holidays. I also want to walk every day. I must try not to miss walking on very busy days.

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  2. Great points! I do want to know about these mint brownies that are Markus’ favorite ๐Ÿ˜€ I have been making some food modifications since becoming diabetic and following you two on here. I find that I don’t miss my old food habits at all and feel better. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. It is surprising, isnโ€™t it? Hard to miss anything when we continue to eat good food. Sorry to hear about the diabetes diagnosis. Hoping you are managing it well. The brownies are sold in many shops in Bali. I checked online, there are plenty of recipes. I tried making it once but I forgot which online recipe I used!

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      1. The diabetes is a result of taking the prednisone so long for my asthma. Hopefully if I can eliminate the prednisone with other asthma treatments down the road the diabetes can be reversed. I will check for mint brownie recipes online where I can substitute the sugar. ๐Ÿ˜€

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        1. Hoping for the best. I take prednisone at times, too, and never enjoy it. Sorry to hear it has caused you damaged. Really hope that it can be reversed! Looking forward to hearing how the avo brownies turn out. Markus really loves those. He can eat 10 in a heartbeat.

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  3. Great tips! I hate the idea that we have to starve ourselves or lose weight – we should all focus instead on finding balance and be healthier as you said! And it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated! I will definitely try to move more and eat less sugar for the new year ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. Good luck with your goals. I suppose diets and weight loss are just trends that never go away. It is lucrative, especially because people just bounce off one to the other. This is why a healthier perspective is important, and it is also cheaper!

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    1. Thanks. I can support living to eat. It is so much better than other alternatives. Especially nice if we are eating what we grow! When we were in Chiang Mai, there was not a lot of seafood. What do you usually eat?

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      1. I am trying to get to vegetarian as I did that for 3 years about 15 years ago and felt great, then I started weight lifting and starting consuming meat for density of calories as I was just eating way too much and too often to keep up. Now here in Thailand we’re eating pretty balanced with eggs or oatmeal in the morning, some veggie fried rice in the afternoon, and then veggies and meat in the evening for dinner. I’m not a huge fan of seafood as I don’t enjoy anything that veers into fishy or seafoody tasting, so I honestly haven’t searched around, but there’s plenty of fish around here, my daughter loves fish so she eats some about 3-4 times a week. Lately I’ve been enjoying diced potatoes with salt and pepper, just a huge pot of potatoes lol.

        What is your 2021 menu shaping up to look like besides what you posted here?

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        1. Markus does not like seafood, too! Your diet sounds balanced – I imagine veg will flood it once your garden explodes with the good stuff. Do you notice a difference with meat and working out? I worried about this when our diet changed but everything was the same, interestingly. Have you watched The Game Changer on Netflix? Interesting take. Our meals involve lots of potatoes, I mean, how could anyone not, right? Haha. And veg, spices, curry, shakshuka and hummus, lots of flatbreads and incredible veg sandwiches. If you have Ig, we post food and tiny house living @tinyhousebagac.

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          1. Hmm do I notice a difference? Well I feel like my engine runs cleaner on a mostly vegetarian diet but I find that I need to constantly eat to feel full. My life becomes simpler when I opt for the caloric intake of meat, it fills me up better and allows for me to not be constantly cooking. That’s awesome about your IG, I don’t have one, maybe in the future, but my wife does so I’ll tell her to subscribe and I’ll check you out there.

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            1. I worried about that in the beginning, too! Thankfully, I did not go hungry. But you are right – it takes education, patience, and effort to go plant-based, and we all have unique needs and preferences. The best diet is always the one that works for us. When I trained muay thai competitively, my teammates and I would binge on chicken wings and we discussed whether it made a difference the next day. I was not sure of the answer then, I just liked eating it. But that was before I switched diets.

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              1. I think we don’t need as much pure protein as we think, because I trained Muay Thai as well and my teacher has been vegetarian for almost 20 years, and his biceps are gigantic. I know that it doesn’t really help build muscle better than plant based, but I think it has higher caloric density which I think is important for lifting weights and avoiding muscle strains. I have a book which shows the human intestine, and it’s pretty long and ribbed and then it compares it to a tiger’s which is very short and smooth suggesting that carnivorous diets are more for shorter, smoother intestines, and the longer and more ribbed it is, the most veg should be consumed. Ours isn’t as long as say a cows, but I think it suggests that veg should be the main staple of consumption.

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                1. Oh, that is an awesome story. Thank you for sharing. I am so happy to learn you also trained muay thai. How is that for you? I trained in Phuket Top Team and lived in Phuket for that purpose. And yes, not just the gut but also vision, teeth, and so on.

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  4. Im also going to eat healthier this coming year. Itโ€™s not the hardest thing when you start small, like you rightfully said. The biggest challenge will just be shaking off the nasty habits that 2020 brought back!

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      1. You guys have more fruit that tap water! Lol Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll achieve your goal fairly quickly. Iโ€™m planning on cutting back on bad carbs and fats. I got back into my pizza phase and was sometimes having it 4-5 times a week! So Iโ€™ll keep all my food intake the same quantity-wise, but reduce how many takeout meals and treats I have ๐Ÿ˜…

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        1. Thanks! It is possible. Just have to be careful what sort of fruits I eat. I bloat easily. Wow, 4-5x is a lot of pizza. It is yum though. Cannot blame you. Do you cook at home, too?

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  5. Great points! I’ve actually used all 5 before to lose and maintain a lower weight and then 2020 came and upset that delicate balance for me with all the comfort eating. I plan to try putting all of these back into action again for 2021 to lose those 10lbs. Wish me luck ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Sounds good! I suppose 2020 was really hard for all of us, and we tried the best we could. With me, I had two breaks with working out this year and it is always tough. But rest is important to heal and recover correctly so I try to take it easy. I think my knee is okay by now and I am looking forward to getting back at it in January, along with the rest of the world.

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean with drinking too much! It is a problem especially because my bladder is the size of a teacup. With desserts, I feel if we restrict it too much, we will want it more. What do you think?

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  6. A good read! For me, I aim to drink more water and to increase my mobility. In November 2019 I injured my back, followed by extreme sciatica and didn’t leave the house for nearly 3 months, then the pandemic and lockdown in March this year and well…….too much to tell here, but I continue to work towards gaining fitness. I think diet is probably just as important as exercise so more water, and maybe try some yoga!
    Keep up with your blog, I won’t regain my youth but I am still able to learn to ideas.

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    1. Good luck with your goals! They are doable, especially if you take little steps or just aim to do one thing about it every day. Non-zero days are helpful! I wish you can discover the joys of yoga and the release that comes with it. Thank you – we will definitely keep going. Blog friends like you inspire us a lot.

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  7. Great tips! Especially if you can find a healthy dessert that motivates you to work out. โค๏ธ
    Moving around and not having a sedentary lifestyle is super important too. Especially this year with the lockdown and lesser reasons to head out.
    Hope to be healthier in 2021. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. Exactly. It feels nice to have dessert and enjoy it fully. My hope is that the coronavirus vaccine eases the lockdown so we can all move freely again. A healthier 2021 is sure a blessing. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy holidays, Kevin! How did you celebrate? Yes, but I have to admit I have been indulging with sweets. I tell myself I will stop once the year turns! I have not been working out the entire month, too, because of a knee injury, so I thought I will make the most of it. Haha!

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      1. Happy holidays. I spent some simple and quality time with family. It’s okay to have cheat diets. Especially this time the holidays allow. Sorry about your injury. Quick recovery.

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        1. I hope you had a meaningful one. Yes, I feel we need to eat what we need to eat. Usually, we stop when it is time. Ot at least one would hope! My knee is recovering and I am looking forward to easing into my routine next month. Thank you.

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          1. It’s achievable through cultivating a proper eating discipline. I’m glad that the recovery is smooth and looking forward on your behalf, to you going back to your normal routine. Wellness and peace

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