Around New Years, lots of people get great big pie-in-the-sky dreams about getting in super good shape, but it’s really difficult to keep up with a dramatic diet or extreme exercises regimen.
Maybe you were one of those gym Rambos last week, whose plans fizzled out after the first week. If so, don’t feel bad! Studies have shown that an all or nothing approach to health and weight changes are less successful than trying to follow a few simple goals. Small positive steps are much more likely to work than a single giant leap.
With that in mind, we have tracked down Keri Glassman, a nationally recognized nutrition expert who gave us five simple tips to help maintain a healthy balance.
1. Set Goals for Yourself
In order to stay motivated throughout the entire year (not just until mid-January!), make sure your goals are both attainable and reasonable. Instead of strictly avoiding certain foods, eat empowered by focusing on what you should eat to help increase your overall health and meet your weight goals. Goals to keep you healthy throughout the New Year might include things like, incorporating a vegetable into your dinner daily or exercising for 45 minutes four times per week. Make goals that work for you, but it’s ok to set the bar high, too!
2. Incorporate a Superfood Into Every Meal
Superfoods are those foods that go beyond basic nutrition and offer extraordinary health benefits. Try adding blueberries to your morning oatmeal, having a hearty black bean soup for lunch, and salmon with broccoli and a baked sweet potato for dinner. Other amazing Superfoods include – spinach, apples, oranges, pumpkin, walnuts, and almonds.
3. Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains are a key component of healthy eating. They are a great source of fiber (as well as essential vitamins and minerals). Fiber promotes satiety and keeps you feeling full which prevents you from snacking throughout the day. Whole grains will also help keep you healthy by lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Delicious sources include wheat bread, brown rice, oats, quinoa, and even popcorn!
4. Stash Healthy Snacks
It is easy to make poor food decisions when you are on the go, so keep your purse, car, gym bag, etc. stocked with nutritious and filling snacks. Have your emergency go-to stash that works for you. Here are some ideas:
Nuts such as pecans, cashews, almonds, walnuts in individual bags
High fiber crackers (they act as a good “vehicle” for turkey, peanut butter or cheese)
Whole fruit (apples and bananas are least messy!)
A little planning ahead will help you say no to unhealthy temptations throughout the year!
5. Fill Up On Water and Tea
Drinking enough H2O is one of the most important things you can do for your body every day. Not only does it play a role in many body processes such as flushing out toxins and delivering key nutrients to cells, it also helps you to avoid overeating. You won’t mistake hunger for thirst if you are properly hydrated.
If plain water bores you, try:
Adding sliced lemon or limes
Keeping pitcher of water with fruit pieces or slices in it in fridge so you get the fruit flavor you love
Remember, herbal tea counts toward your daily water intake!