Did you make the New Year’s resolution to be healthier this year? Maybe eat healthier, exercise and lose weight?
If you did you are not alone. Being healthy and losing weight is one of the top resolutions every year, and I think it’s a great one! But now that you made it a resolution, where do you begin? It’s easy to say you will eat healthy, and most want to, but how do you start? Here are 3 tips for getting started:
1. Don’t DIET. They don’t work. It’s more the mindset than the actual nutrition plan that fails. If you have the mentality of always being ‘on’ or ‘off’ a diet, your chances of long term success are slim to none. If you have a few too many handfuls of m &m’s at the office, don’t go home and have a huge serving of pizza and ice cream because you already ‘blew’ it for the day. That mindset will get you in trouble and you won’t see the results you want. Instead, have your normal healthy dinner and you will be surprised at how much better you feel physically but more importantly emotionally. This mindset allows you to not fall into the deprive/binge/feel guilty cycle and instead you can actually enjoy treats while still reaching your goals.
2. Eat more plants. I don’t care if you choose to eat gluten free, paleo, primal, vegetarian, low carb, low fat, vegan, or any other eating style, plants should be a large portion of your diet. If you don’t eat many fruits or vegetables now, start slow. If you don’t eat any fruits or vegetables, start with one of each for the first week, then once you get that daily go for two fruits and two vegetables each day.
Apple, celery or carrots with peanut or almond butter
Celery, carrots or sliced peppers with hummus
Fresh Berries in Greek yogurt
Make a smoothie and throw in some greens and fruit.
Also you can add:
Berries to morning oatmeal
*Side salad to lunch and/or dinner
*Add a cooked veggie (broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, beans, carrots, spinach, kale, etc) to your dinner.
*Substitute spaghetti squash for pastas.
*Grill or roast a large amount of veggies so you can reheat them quickly at dinner or for a snack.
Keep frozen vegetables and fruits stocked in the freezer for easy dinner prep. (I use frozen veggies often for dinner).
3. Drink more water. You’ve heard this before. So many people walk around dehydrated and don’t even know it. How many of you get through lunch with maybe 1 or 2 cups of coffee and not a drop of water. There are so many benefits to drinking enough water for your body. It helps our kidneys function properly to get rid of excess toxins, helps our bladders to be more toned to prevent unwanted leaking, it can help skin diseases, colon diseases, and it can actually aid in providing spinal discs to have more ‘cushion’ along with many other benefits for our bodies. It can help people lose weight by all of the body systems functioning at their best. And when much more water is consumed, there is less room for sugared sodas, teas, and coffees, which help the fat loss efforts. One of my favorite blogs to read is by Dr. Tim O’shea and he has a great chapter on Hydration and Dehydration (http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/water/hydration-and-dehydration/).
Our bodies are 75% water, so how can it not help almost every organ that makes us up. A good rule if thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces (if you weight 150lbs, you should drink 75ounces). I think this should be increased if you are a very active person, but this is a good place to start. Start by recording how much water you drink daily, and then gradually start adding a bottle, then two, until you reach your goal.
If you have accomplished these above 3 things, look for my next segment of healthy eating:101 for some further tips! If you are still working on these above things, don’t give up! Don’t expect perfection, just look for balance and start out with these 3 tips to get you going.
Questions of the day:
How much water do you drink?
What is your daily plant intake in servings?