The new calendar year has many of us thinking about the positive changes we’d like see happen in the year ahead, oftentimes those improvements involve our health goals and visions for ourselves.
However, if you set the bar too high, you may be setting yourself up to fail before you even start. Listed below are 17 quick tips to ensure you stay on the right track as you work towards your goal of losing weight, eating healthier and living a long energetic life.
1.Curb Your Sweet Tooth.
2. Start Your Day With A Solid Breakfast
This will keep you from overeating at later meals, give you brainpower and energy the whole day through.
3. Choose Wisely When Being Social
You can still eat out and enjoy restaurants, just make sure you pick clean eats. Ask for sauces on the side, and for food to be prepared plain, steamed, or grilled. Your waistline will thank you.
4. No Multi-Tasking at Mealtime
Sit down and enjoy your food when it’s time. If you’re busy talking and texting you won’t really be tasting and chewing your food efficiently. Overeating can be a problem here as well if you’re not focusing on what you’re consuming.
5. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
This is key for those times when you’re not able to eat your scheduled meal. Maybe you’re stuck in traffic or running late at the office. Skipping meals only sets you up for overeating. A deficit of more than 500 calories a day can slow down your fat-burning efforts explains Dr. Robert Zembroski, Functional Health Doctor.
6. Keep Alcohol Consumption Minimal or Nil
You don’t need to drink to be social. Your body turns off its fat-burning furnace when you’re drinking alcohol. Try seltzer with sliced lemon or lime. It’ll look like a mixed drink.
7. Read Labels Religiously
Take responsibility and know exactly what you’re consuming. If a product has a long list of ingredients, then it’s probably not something you want in your cabinet—and body. The shorter the list, usually the better.
8. Plan for Cheat Meals
“You don’t have to stop living as you try to promote weight loss and healthy eating,” says Christopher Tuttle, R.D. Schedule in a cheat meal (one meal not an entire cheat day) once or twice a week. Just don’t let it become a Thanksgiving free-for-all or look like you’ve entered an eating contest. Don’t feel guilty afterwards, just pick back up the next day and move forward.
9. Cut the Carbs at Night
Eat most of your food when the sun is out, suggests Dr. Zembroski. If you eat a big meal loaded with carbs at the end of the day or even late, your body’s hormone, insulin, is more likely to store the unused energy as fat. It will also turn off the release of growth hormone that occurs while you’re resting. This will prohibit your cells from regenerating and healing.
10. Get Cozy with Oats
Oatmeal is one grain that raises testosterone levels naturally, resulting in stronger and longer gym workouts. Grains like oats, rice, faro, amaranth and quinoa all generate a feeling of satiety. This feeling will keep you fuller longer and resist the need to snack in between meals. Most grains come in a gluten-free version as well if you’re on a diet that excludes gluten.
11. Eat High-Quality Fats.
Good-for-you fats like coconut oil and olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds will add flavor to your foods. A quality fat will help keep you feeling satiated and in a better mood when you’re following a lower-carb diet. According to the American College of Cardiology, consuming polyunsaturated fats like fatty fish, walnuts, and sunflower oil may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
12. Eat the Diet That’s Best for Your Body
Everyone doesn’t need to follow a dairy-free or gluten-free diet. Unless your physician has told you that you have a sensitivity, there’s no need to cut out these ingredients. Keep foods in your diet that make you feel good and provide quality nutrients. What’s right for you may not be right for your spouse or best friend so eat in a way that optimizes your body’s performance.
13. Don’t Fall Victim to Fad Diets
Eating a balanced diet with lean sources protein, healthy fat, and complex carb sources in each meal every three to four hours per day will help boost your metabolism, stabilize energy, and control appetite, says Tuttle.
15. Log Quality Sleep Hours
Getting a restful night’s sleep keeps the hormones that allow you to either burn or store fat in check. If you’re constantly sleep-deprived, odds are you will crave processed or fast foods that will be instantly stored as fat. A restful night’s sleep will have you feeling energized all day and make good food choices.
16. Eat Citrus Fruits Daily
Fruits like grapefruit, oranges and lemons slow the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for storing body fat around the mid section. In the 2015 issue of Critical Reviews in Food and Science Nutrition, eating grapefruit showed a significant decrease in blood pressure.
17. Pay attention to digestion.