6 Ridiculously Easy Ways To Actually Eat Healthier In 2016

by Leigh Weingus

The end of the year is a great time to reflect.

Maybe you fell in love, maybe you landed a great job. Maybe you made a few new friends, and maybe you actually achieved that goal you set to lose a few pounds and get in better shape.

Or maybe you didn't.

Maybe you spent the majority of 2015 in a really awesome relationship with Netflix, your bed and a lot of pizza.

Hey, no judgement. That sounds pretty awesome if you ask us.

But if when the clock strikes midnight this January 31 and you do actually plan to have a healthier year, we've got good news for you: Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard.

In fact, tweaking your diet just the slightest bit can do wonders for your waistline over the course of a year.

Here are our suggestions for eating healthier in 2016 so you don't have to make the same resolution in 2017.

Take advantage of Sunday nights.

Sundays are great for sleeping in, breakfast sandwiches and taking care of your nasty tequila hangover.

You know what else they're great for? Preparing for the week.

If you spend a few hours on Sunday nights grocery shopping and doing some meal prep for the week, you'll find eating healthier throughout the week is relatively painless.

Whether it's making a week's worth of overnight oats or whipping up a soup or healthy crockpot meal that will last a few days, you'll find Sunday night meal prep is guaranteed to take some of the stress out of your week and leave you less likely to make unhealthy decisions.

Count your bites.

Sick of counting calories? Count your bites. It may sound weird, but it's a much simpler way to monitor how much you're eating.

According to a small study conducted out of Brigham Young University earlier this year, reducing the number of bites you take in a day can be an effective and easy way to lose weight.

One way to do it? Spend a day counting the amount of bites you take. The next day, reduce that bite count by 20 percent.

It's a small change, and it can help you lose a lot of weight over time. Give it a try.

Make healthier snack choices.

If you have a habit of eating a bag of chips around 3 or 4 pm and a bowl of ice cream after dinner every night, we're not asking you to give up those habits.

But we are asking you to make different (but just as delicious) snack choices.

Instead of chips, try grabbing a bag of popcorn (just try to avoid bags that are packed with sodium, fat or sugar). You'll get the crunch of chips without the calories.

As for that post-dinner ice cream habit, try replacing it with a square of dark chocolate or blending up a chocolate smoothie that's packed with nutrients.

Doesn't sound too painful, right?

Leave a few bites on your plate.

When you've got a plate of delicious food in front of you, it's hard not to eat the whole thing ... even when you're way too full.

But restaurants in particular are famous for their huge portion sizes, so leaving something behind is probably wise.

Michael Pollan, a journalist who focuses on healthy eating and wrote "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food," advises people to leave just a small amount of food on their plates.

He told Epicurious,

It's a form of self-discipline, instead of your plate dictating when you're full. I'm talking about a bite or two, not leaving a big pile of food.

If you live by Pollan's rules, you can eat a little bit healthier without the guilt of wasting food.

Don't let yourself get hungry.

You know those really busy days when you skip lunch and come home from work or class completely ravenous and devour your entire kitchen, package of Oreos and all?

Yeah, about that. You need to stop doing that.

When you let yourself get too hungry, you'll not only put yourself in a bad mood -- looking at you, hangry people -- but once you do get your hands on food, you can easily eat a day's worth of calories in one sitting.

Whether it's incorporating snacks into that Sunday night meal prep we suggested or keeping some healthy snacks in your desk drawer at work, make sure you're eating every four hours or so.

Good luck!