For some reason when we think of making a change for our health and lifestyle we always think – “oh I’ll wait until New Years. New Year, new me!” But why do we do this? Why can’t we start now? If it makes it easier on you, then go for it, wait until New Years. But I say start now if you can! It’s always the right moment to make a change towards a healthier happier you. These tips can be done in any order and you can choose just a few or do them all if you can. Any change is good so read up and learn what can help you change your health and change your life.
1. Start Meal Planning weekly: Do you find yourself coming home from a long day, looking in the cabinets & fridge and saying “what the heck can I make for dinner?” then you give up and just order a pizza instead? This can be avoided if you always have a plan. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out what we’ll eat for the week. This helps me be prepared for clean eating for those days when I just don’t have any enthusiasm to come up with something on a whim. Or you could go the even simpler route and sign up for a meal planning service like the one we offer on our site!
2. Do weekly meal prep: After grocery shopping, start chopping. Take out any veggies that need cleaning and chopping and get right to it. If you have them prepped like this, you’re more likely to use them throughout the week. It makes it so much easier to cook up a meal in a hurry during the busy work/school/social week. You can even cook them if you’d like to. Store in airtight containers in the fridge. You can do the same for proteins: cook up a bunch of proteins and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. These can make for easy lunches – add some of the chopped veggies and voila! You have an easy lunch ready to go. You can even go all the way and make up lunches for yourself and your family by getting tupperwares and filling up with part protein, part veggies and part whole grains (rice, quinoa, etc). This can be super helpful.
3. Have 6 smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals: Eating big meals really isn’t good for our bodies. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel if you make this kind of switch. I notice I feel more groggy and tired after eating big meals vs several small meals. Plus eating this way will keep your metabolism running throughout the day and this is a good thing for weight loss.
4. Trash any junk food you have stashed away: Yes, I am serious. If you don’t like the idea of “wasting food” – then donate it if you can. But if you keep on eating junky food you’ll continue to stay on the crappy path of feeling bad about yourself every time you stuff your face with the junk, plus you won’t be able to get back on the healthy weight loss wagon. Trash them now – especially any cookies, cakes and pies left over from the holidays. And start eating clean with this clean eating food list.
5. Do a healthy food swap: Go through your kitchen and swap out foods such as brown rice in place of white rice, whole wheat pasta or breads in place of white pasta or breads. These kinds of changes can go a long way. Use this clean eating food list as a guide.
6. Commit to not eating out at restaurants as much: This can be easy if you always have a plan (as shown in #1 and #2 above). Even if you just commit to only eating out once or twice a week you’re on a right path!
7. Only keep healthy snacks on hand: Nuts, seeds, fruits, carrot sticks, yogurt, peanut butter, celery, etc. Avoid greasy chips, cookies, donuts, ice cream, etc. Use this clean eating snack guide for ideas.
8. Get active on a regular basis: If you’re already active, then great! But if you have found yourself less active lately, then try to make a new habit of getting some kind of new activity into your life. Whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, yoga, etc. The possibilities are endless. There really is no excuse these days with the endless amounts of FREE exercise videos online you can do at home with no equipment at all. Or just taking a walk around the block is another FREE exercise. Move regularly towards a healthier happier you with some exercise.
9. Work on your mental health too: meditation is so beneficial. Even taking just 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before bedtime to sit still in silence. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Count each breath. If you find yourself drifting off into thoughts/thinking then bring yourself back and start the counting over. Get a meditation timer like this one to help you keep track of time so you’re not always looking at the clock. You’ll be grateful you took the time to do this. A calm and peaceful mind will lead to a healthier happier you.
10. Remind yourself daily that you are awesome: It’s easy to fall into a trap of putting yourself down for whatever reason – not eating right, not being active, not taking charge of your health, being too busy to keep in touch with friends/family, etc. Don’t ever beat yourself up for any of these reasons. Just push yourself forward and make it a habit to start taking care of yourself in these areas from here on out. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. And we all can get right back on!