In “Getting your Mind Ready for a New Routine,” we talked about tips to prepare you for some changes in your daily routine. With the start of a new year, it is time to put those changes into action!
A vital aspect of reaching the healthiest version of yourself is your nutritional diet. Many people who make the “lose weight / get fit” resolution focus solely on the exercise portion. While this is very important to losing weight, your daily diet can be that extra ‘umph you need to get the physique you have dreamed of. Use these tips as stepping-stones to your ultimate goal!
FRUITS AND VEGGIES GALORE
People do not get enough of these powerhouse food groups on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables provide an excellent source of fiber and vitamins our bodies need to function at full capacity. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips, opt for a bowl of strawberries and blueberries or blend a shake with grass fed protein. Maybe have a portion of baby carrots instead of that diet soda you always grab for. This simple change can be made immediately and helps you feel better about your food choices!
LOTS OF FLUIDS
As you push your body to new levels, it is essential to refuel with water. Over half of our bodies consist of water. During exercise, your body loses approximately 30 ounces of water per hour. It is extremely important to replenish your body of this lost water throughout the day, even past your workout session.
COOK AT HOME
Yes, this tip is a bit more taxing, but guarantees the quality of your food. When you cook at home, you have control over all ingredients that go into your food. Meals from a restaurant or the frozen section at the grocery store may promise low calorie or no preservatives, but there is no way to be absolutely sure. But when you are the one throwing those veggies on the grill, you can tailor your meal to be exactly what you want it to be.
Lastly, the age old tip of portion control. One of the most effective keys in eating healthy is listening to your body. Only eat when you are hungry and do not feel obligated to finish a portion if you are already full. Also, do not feel like you have to cut out every food you actually enjoy.
For example, lots of people will try to quit sugar cold turkey. This is an excellent goal to have but start with baby steps. Try a dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. Split desserts with someone, when you typically wouldn’t otherwise. Research healthy alternatives to typical ingredients found in cooking, like olive oil rather than vegetable oil.
The key to these changes is to set obtainable goals first. Quick fix diets typically require you to make a complete overhaul of your food choices. But you are more likely to stick with changes that happen gradually. Eating healthy and clean is much easier than we make it out to be in our heads. It all starts with a commitment to yourself.