Going into the New Year is the perfect time to leave bad habits in the past and develop new ones. It usually takes 21 days to develop a habit which means the beginning of the New Year is crucial for setting the tone. New Year’s resolutions can be intimidating and hard to follow through with but a well laid out plan will aid you through any storm. “I try to focus on two things and that’s consistency and discipline, the rest just kind of falls into place”.
So before we dive head first into this new routine, I wanted to help with the process by providing some health tips that I personally use in my own regimen.
“Small steps lead to BIG changes”
Getting rid of old habits and implementing new, healthier ones will already be a challenge. Don’t overload yourself. You have 365 days to achieve your goals. Keep your bigger goals in mind but include a series of small and achievable goals to aid you along the way. Taking small steps towards the right direction can have a huge payoff, and just by changing a few things in your diet you will start to see a noticeable difference in your body and health. Here are a few of my favorite health tips:
- Switch out white bread for wheat bread.
- Eat more chicken, turkey, and fish as opposed to pork and red meat.
- Stop drinking sodas and sugary beverages.
- Learn how to cook more of your meals.
- Find a workout partner, it’s a lot easier to stay consistent if someone is working out with you.
- Meditate. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
- Set time when you stop eating during the day, eating late at night isn’t conducive to losing weight.
- Eat in moderation. You don’t have to completely cut out your personal food pleasures, just learn how to balance them. For example; if your cheat meal is a cheeseburger from McDonald’s, request for them to take off the mayonnaise. This by itself eliminates 60-100 calories off the sandwich.
Drink more H20
Drinking water is single-handedly one of the most important changes you need to make going into the New year. Here are few benefits of why adding more water to your regimen can have tremendous health benefits.
- Promotes Weight Loss: Drinking more water is correlated with reduced calories and a low risk of weight gain. Water is calorie free, so switching out the sugary beverages such as soda and juice for water will promote weight loss. Added Tip – Try squeezing some lemon into the water. Lemons are great for boosting metabolism.
- Improves skin complexion: Drinking water is ideal for keeping the skin moist and maintaining a natural glow. It also aids in fighting off wrinkles and clearing up any scars.
- Maintains Regularity: Having consistent bowel movements are important for cleaning out waste lingering in the body. Inconsistent water intake will cause your regular bowel movements to become less frequent.
- Increases energy and relieves fatigues: Drinking a gallon a water per day is great for maintaining your energy levels and for fighting off fatigue. If the body is adequately hydrated you’ll be less likely to be tired throughout your day. So make sure you set water consumption goals for yourself and then reward yourself for completing them.
Cut down on processed foods
We all love the occasional frozen dinner or “the usual” at our fast food restaurant because it’s quick and easy but this is a recipe for disaster. Processed foods contain chemicals that are not good for the body such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Processed foods are also high in sodium which leads to health implications such as high blood pressure. If cooking your own meals intimidate you, try going to your local bookstore and picking up a few cookbooks. The process of learning how to cook new meals can be an exciting and rewarding one.
Eat more greens
Instead of filling your cabinets up with chips and sugary snacks make sure you’re buying vegetables and fruit for healthier snack options. This tip is great because you can buy vegetables and fruit frozen or canned. Be sure to rinse vegetables or fruit that are canned, as they may contain added sugars and salts.
Written by Timothy Richardson
Photo credit: Wesley Henderson