Lose weight, eat less junk food — they top many lists of New Year’s resolutions. But sticking with those good intentions is just not easy I know as I struggle to stick to diets and even the go sober for October so I definitely wasn’t going to put the same pressure on for Dry January, we go to hard on ourselves sometimes? It’s always best to be realistic or we can be hard on ourselves by feeling like a failure if we don’t stick to theses ‘goals’.
It’s not just will power either. Willpower is about depriving yourself, and nobody gets excited about that. Besides, depriving yourself is depressing and leads to bingeing. Focus on the positives — you feel better, have more energy, when you eat healthy.
When making dietary changes, start small. Set a few realistic goals. In the long run, you’ll have better self-esteem and more self-confidence because you’ll actually stick with them.
Here are a few tips for a healthier diet and lifestyle:
- Don’t skip breakfast, as you will just get the munchies later on and slows your metabolism will slow down. Start the day with yogurt and fruit or a whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
- Don’t skip any meals or snacks. Try not to let more than five hours go by without eating. Waiting too long can zap energy, and can lead to overeating later. Eat a (healthy) snack between lunch and dinner, maybe right before leaving work, so you will be less likely to grab snack foods once you get home.
- Include a total of 30 minutes of activity every day. It doesn’t have to be all at once. If it takes 10 minutes to walk from the bus stop, get off at the next furthest stop so you get a few more minutes walking. And walk it briskly — you can lose some weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and sleep better.
- Drink fewer fizzy and other sweetened drinks, like iced tea. A big bottle of a juice-based drink can contain 300 calories — and those calories add up. Drink water instead. Or mix juice and water, so you’re not drinking something so heavily loaded with sugar.
- Aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day or take a supplement so that your body doesn’t crave the nutrients it needs.
- Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables, so you can grab them when you’re hungry.
- Keep frozen veggies in the fridge. They are easy, quick, and rich in nutrients. Take them to work for a quick lunch you can heat in the microwave. Season with black pepper, herbs, lemon juice, or a red wine-and-balsamic vinegar dressing.
- Bring snacks to work — such as pretzels, fruit, and yogurt — so you won’t find yourself at the vending machine every afternoon.
- When making a salad, sprinkle rolled oats or crunchy whole-grain cereal for added fiber, so you’ll feel full.
- Make pasta dishes with veggies and lean protein (like tuna canned in water, precooked chicken breast, or soy crumbles). Adding protein and veggies to pasta allows you to cut back on the amount of pasta (which is high in carbohydrates) while still feeling full.
- Also, hand-select a variety of fruits instead of buying one large bag of the same fruit. After the third or fourth day of apples, you’ll likely be sick of them. Mixing up a few different types of apples, one pear, one banana will keep you from getting bored.