Hi friends! How is everything going with you? As part of Jumpstart January, I wanted to share a few tips with you all today that have helped me live a healthier lifestyle. While I can’t say that the same process works for everyone, I can say that small changes add up. We often think of being healthy as an all or nothing bet-either we workout all the time or not at all, or we are on a diet or splurging- but in reality, it’s little steps that add up to one giant healthy living staircase…err or something. So here are a few ways to take some more steps forward towards a healthier you!*
1.) Drink water. I know we all say drink water to be hydrated but seriously, if you are drinking water all the time you are going to feel more full. Also, we sometimes get hunger and thirst confused so you end up eating when you may just be hungry. Drinking water will help eliminate this. Also, if you are drinking water all the time you won’t have time to fill up on empty calories in sodas and other drinks!
2.) Limit artificial sweetener. I used to think that Splenda, Sweet n’ Low and all the other sweeteners were the way to go. Turns out, the chemicals aren’t so great for you (shocking I know!). So limiting artificial sweeteners is good for your health. If you need a sweetener, use a little bit of honey or stevia or sugar in the raw. Also, the sweeteners are so much sweeter than natural sugar they boost your sweet tooth so eliminating them will help you cut back on other sweets.
3.) Limit the booze. I know we all like to enjoy a good old glass of wine on occasion but booze equals empty calories. I limit alcohol to the weekends and drink moderately on weekends. If you are really counting calories, stick with one glass. As an FYI, champagne has the fewest calories! I also love my Skinnygirl cocktails!
4.) Walk more. Kimberly from Manifest Yourself gets off the subway to walk a crazy amount of extra blocks to her work, even in the winter!! That is dedication AND sensible. Walking more will help you burn more calories and it won’t feel so much like “working out.”
5.) Eat a healthy breakfast. It sets the tone for your day and helps keep your metabolism revving.
6.) Drink your fruits and veggies. There are some cons with juicing like not getting the fiber rich skins from the fruits and veggies but I have gotten into the habit of getting a fresh juice from the deli next to my work. It take the guesswork out of counting my fruit and veg servings!
7.) Explore new recipes. This past fall I went to the farmer’s market every week and picked up different veggies. I then tried to think up (aka Googled) different recipes to make with my finds. It was almost like a game and it makes eating healthy so much more fun when you are exploring new things.
8.) Enroll in a class. A new workout class or a healthy cooking class, just find something that will make you feel passionate about staying healthy.
9.) Don’t cut out. Cutting out entire food groups (unless it is the fast food variety) is not smart. Your body needs a balance of carbs, protein and fat to stay energized. Sure there are healthier options than eating a loaf of white bread but giving it up completely deprives your body of essential nutrients. Look for healthier options like whole wheat, lean protein and healthy fats. Some examples include whole wheat bread (look for the words whole wheat because marketers have gotten smart and now use other buzz words that can be deceiving), whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breasts, fish like salmon or sea bass, avocados and olive oils.
10.) Ditch the processed foods. This is probably one of the biggest detriments to our diets are the processed, unhealthy foods that we consume. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we are eating contains ingredients that are not so good for us. The solution is simple. Just avoid them as much as possible. Eating wholesome food will make you feel and look better!
So there you have it! A few tips to help you #JumpstartJanuary!
Readers, do you have any tips? Do you find it hard to stick to any of the above?
* I am not a registered dietitian and this information is based on years and years of trying to be healthy myself and reading everything and all things health and fitness related. If you need professional advice, please seek out someone with the appropriate qualifications.