It’s that time of the year again, when just about everyone we know seems to be purchasing shiny new gym memberships and hunkering down for a healthier lifestyle. Whether prioritizing your health is the heart of your New Year’s resolution or it’s a goal that’s taken the back burner thus far, you’re in luck. Contrary to popular belief, making healthy choices doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, by just following a few of our simple cooking tips below, you’ll be on the right track in no time.

  1. Use Less Oil

Cooking with too much oil is a mistake that countless chefs make. Though some oils have proven to be beneficial for heart health, a great way to start cooking light is to invest in a copper pan. These types of pans are non-stick, so you won’t need to use any oil at all in these dishes. Feel free to save it for salad dressings and other recipes if desired, but there’s officially no need for it in pan cooked dishes with this trick!

  1. Incorporate More Herbs and Spices

Put down the salt shaker. Season dishes with herbs and spices to maintain a bold flavor while ditching the sodium.

  1. Swap Ingredients for Lighter Alternatives

Have a recipe that calls for milk? Try using skim or 1%. Also consider checking out alternatives like stevia for sweetener in baked goods, or simply use just a portion of the sugar the recipe calls for. Odds are, you won’t even notice the difference in taste.

  1. Create a Balanced Plate

Even if you’re eating what you’d consider an unhealthy meal, try to think about creating a balanced plate. For example, instead of loading up on three slices of pizza, try having one slice and a side salad instead. You certainly don’t have to give up your favorite foods, but experimenting with portion size and creating balanced meals can make a huge difference in your diet.

  1. Think Outside the Box

One of the keys to establishing a healthier diet is being unafraid to try new things. The worst thing that can happen is you swap out an ingredient and find out you don’t love the result as much as you had hoped. There’s no shame in trying! There are also many flavorful alternatives to classic favorites that you might end up loving even more. Take our all natural chicken sausage, for example. There’s a variety of flavors to experiment with, and they’re a great healthy swap for the traditional hot dog (though everyone deserves a good pop open from time to time!).

Do you have any healthy cooking tips? Share them with us on Twitter!