Think back to last January when you made your resolutions.
Did they stick or did you forget all about them by spring?
It's easy to fall of course if you're not careful, and especially if you gave yourself too many goals to accomplish all at once, so it's important to remember that little changes can make a much bigger impact than pressuring yourself to do everything all at once.
To make it a little easier, I've come up with ten easy ways to stay on track that will absolutely not deprive you of anything. Making a few small changes at a time will make a huge impact on your overall health, so I hope you give one or all of these a try!
1. Incorporate veggies in every meal.
If you normally don't eat a lot of vegetables throughout the day until dinner, this could be a great one for you to start with. If you eat eggs in the morning, try adding in some peppers or mushrooms. If you have oatmeal in the morning and prefer just nuts and berries, try adding in a small glass of green juice on the side. At lunch, you could have vegetable soup, a big salad or a sandwich loaded with extra veggies. At dinner, make sure your plate is at least half full of vegetables.
2. Have a glass of water before each meal.
I like to do this before a big holiday meal because this is a great way to make sure you don't overeat. Take five or ten minutes to sip on a glass of water before your meal, and you'll be less likely to overindulge. This is also a great idea if you have a soda or sugar addiction. If you don't really like to drink water, try a small bowl of brothy soup before your meal.
3. Don't forget about the healthy fats & Protein!
I love to incorporate healthy fats into my day, my favorite being olives. I love to snack on marinated olives and artichokes, but if you're not a big olive person, try snacking on some walnuts or almonds. For protein, I love adding beans to my salad or soups. White beans are also a great condiment to sandwiches. You can mash them up, mix in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them on bread to add creaminess and flavor.
4. Make lunch your biggest meal of the day.
In the morning, your body needs time to wake up and get moving, just like how your mind works when you first get up. A lighter breakfast is great to get your digestive system working, but be careful not to overfill your tummy with too much too early. Lunch is the best time for your biggest meal because your body will have the most energy to absorb, digest or burn off what it needs to, since you move a lot more throughout the day than you would in the morning or at night. Once you've had dinner, most people head to bed a few hours later, leaving your body with less energy to absorb or burn off what it needs, so a lighter dinner is always best.
5. Go Vegan or Vegetarian Once a week or just until 6pm.
For meat lovers out there, you're probably reading this and thinking "No way jose". I guarantee however that by cutting out the animal fats and even dairy from your diet during the day, you'll start to feel like a new person. You could have avocado toast or oats for breakfast, a giant salad at lunch, tea and a small cup of veggie soup for a snack and then eat whatever you want at dinner. If you're really daring, you could try an all day affair. If neither of those will work for you, try going meatless on Mondays just at dinner.
6. Meal Plan like a boss.
Meal planning is something I do every single week, and I'd feel lost without it. All you need to do is carve out a little bit of time on your Sunday morning while you have your coffee and list out what meals you are in the mood for that week. List out the ingredients, check your cabinets so you know what you have and what you need to buy, then head to the store. When you get home, prep as much as you can. In one hour, you can easily make a pot of soup and have a lasagna prepped for the oven, it just takes commitment and organization. When you meal prep and have all your ingredients ready to go, you'll be less likely to get lazy by Wednesday and just order out because half the work is already done!
7. Get rid of the junk.
There's really no escaping the fact that everywhere you look there are packages of processed food and sweets full of bad fats and tons of sugar. When you're in a jam though and have no other choice, make sure to check the labels and read the ingredients. If you can't go around the store and buy the ingredients listed to make it yourself, don't buy it. There are so many preservatives, chemicals, food dyes and processed ingredients out there that our bodies don't know how to digest, and it's no wonder there are so many health problems now.
8. Be mindful of your salt and sugar intake.
This is a biggie. No one wants to feel bloated or exhausted by 3pm, and generally this occurs thanks to sugar and salt. Check the labels on your food for salt and sugar and try swapping your artificial sweetener for something like honey or maple syrup.
9. The 30-minute rule.
I love to do my 20 minutes on the elliptical followed by strength training for 30 minutes afterwards, but some days that's just not possible to get to the gym. When I know I can't get that much time, I turn to my 30-minute rule. Whether it be through just a brisk walk around the neighborhood, any kind of exercise is fine as long as you can get your heart rate up for those 30 minutes.
10. The 80/20 Lifestyle.
This is a great one if you hate the idea of going meatless! The 80/20 rule simply says that 80% of your diet is whole, nutrient rich foods, and 20% are things like dark chocolate, wine, cheese...whatever! This gives you the opportunity not to feel like you're depriving yourself from something that you want, yet keeps you from overindulging.
Were you inspired by any of these tips?
By making small changes, you can make a huge difference. Let me know what helps and what doesn't help by commenting below!
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