We can all agree that the holidays make it a bit more difficult to eat healthy. With the added stress of hosting family dinners, coordinating travel plans, meeting end of the year deadlines, and everything in between, it’s easy to fall back into reaching for comfort foods and prepackaged meals. Below are a few simple healthy new year habits to get you back on track and make healthy eating easier than ever.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking water throughout the day is not only healthy – it will keep you full and improve energy levels. Keep a reusable water bottle with you at work or while you’re on-the-go! You can even squeeze lemon or flavor-enhancers like Mio to encourage you to keep on drinking that water!
Don’t Deprive Yourself Of Your Favorite Foods
Eating healthy doesn’t mean solely eating broccoli for the rest of your life, nor should it. Setting so many restrictions on yourself is not a realistic game plan and often results in “rebound eating”. As cliche as it may seem, moderation really is key. Remember, if you eat right most of the time you WILL lose weight. It’s okay to have pizza for date night every so often, just try to limit it to once every other week or so.
Split Your Meals
You’ll have more energy with smaller changes in blood sugar levels by eating smaller. Plus, you’ll avoid overeating, which often leads to fatigue and feeling like you need a nap rather than doing something productive.
Decant Your Food
When it comes to snacking, avoid eating directly out of the original packaging. Whether it’s a bag, box, or container, it’s far too easy to wind up finishing an entire bag of potato chips without even realizing it. Instead, pour out a snack-sized serving onto a plate or bowl. This will allow you to still enjoy the foods that you love without overindulging.
Track The Food You Eat
There are tons of phone apps and websites that can help you track your meals. You can even simply just write down a list at the end of the night- but be honest with yourself! Many people often feel guilty when sitting face-to-face with their food decisions. This step is more than just about accountability though, it’s about gaining valuable information. You may notice trends in your eating habits, or that your breakfasts have twice the amount of carbs that you thought. Keeping a log of your food will give you the insight that will make eating healthy easier than ever.
Avoid Late Night Cravings
Be mindful of when you get intense cravings for carbs, especially towards the end of the night. Nighttime eating is the biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain. Reach for something less carb-heavy when those cravings attack, or at the very least try to limit eating to 2 hours before bedtime.
Eat More Protein
Not only does protein help build muscle and repair your body, but it will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. Bonus tip: try eating the protein portion of your meals first before the carbs and fats on your plate or in your bowl. This way guarantees that you’ve eaten a good amount of protein before possibly getting full!
Don’t Grocery Shop On An Empty Stomach
Eat a full meal prior to shopping to significantly reduce the amount of junk food you buy. Your stomach (and your wallet) will thank you. Cook in bulk and prepare your meals! Cravings kick in when you have to work for your food. Give yourself a break and do it ahead of time when you have more energy!
Keep Bad Food Out Of Sight
Hide it away. A quick glance will trigger an intense craving. Why do you think fast food billboards are so effective? Speaking of which, throw away junk mail that has pizza on it. Those always get me…
Give these small changes a shot to help make your new healthy habit stick!