There’s something about a new year that drives us in wanting to wipe the slate clean, put our bad habits behind us, and start fresh.
It’s a time when we also look back at resolutions we’ve managed to keep and those that have eluded us – and we then make promises to take better care of ourselves in the upcoming year.
I’m a big fan of resolutions – as long as they’re reasonable. Resolutions don’t do you much good if they’re abandoned before Valentine’s Day.
You want to focus on the changes you can practise every day – since they’re more likely to stick with you – and also the ones that give you the most bang for your buck. Here’s my list of the top 10 best resolutions for a healthier you.
1. Have a fruit and vegetable at every meal
Fruits and veggies give you the most nutrition for the fewest calories. And, they’re full of water and fibre, which means they fill you up – not out.
2. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals rarely works as a calorie-control measure – you’ll just end up making up for it at the next meal. Eating small meals and snacks every few hours is a better strategy.
3. Pump some iron
Strength training exercise burns calories, can perk up your mood and helps to keep your bones strong. It also helps you build muscle mass which makes you stronger and can ultimately increase your resting metabolic rate.
4. Stop eating on the run
This means in the car, when you’re walking down the street running errands or while you’re getting dressed in the morning. Take time to sit down, focus on your meal and enjoy.
5. Watch the liquid calories
Unless your liquid is a meal in itself, fluids should be calorie-free as often as possible. Get most of your calories from foods, not beverages – it’s one of the easiest ways to cut out excess calories.
6. Include protein every time you eat
Protein satisfies hunger better than fats or carbohydrates. Have some at every meal and grab foods like yogurt, nuts, high protein cereals, shakes, string cheese, or single-serve cans of tuna for snacks.
7. Don’t eat in front of a screen
Whether it’s a computer, TV, or movie screen, when you’re eating in front of it, you’re not focusing on your food – you’re likely to end up eating more and enjoying it less.
8. Move more
Aside from your regular exercise, try to work more activity into your day. Take the stairs, walk, or bike to run errands, pace the floor while you’re on the phone and walk to a co-worker’s office instead of emailing.
9. Eat breakfast
Breakfast eaters are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. And breakfast will also keep you clear-headed all morning. Your brain needs fuel after an overnight fast.
10. Stay hydrated
Many of the body’s processes rely on water, but plenty of people don’t drink enough. Keep water or tea near you and sip throughout the day.
Having resolutions is one thing, but sticking to them is another. Get some motivation and check out the 10 ways to stick to your health resolutions.