Every New Year, we try to make resolutions - eat healthier, work out more, or just be more. Oftentimes, we fail before we even start because we just don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Drink More Water
Water is vital to the human body. The human body is made up of ⅔ water, yet we often don’t drink enough of it. We instead reach for a soda or beer, trying to quench our thirst. Oftentimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger. Dehydration will send a mixed signal to the brains telling us that we are hungry. We eat more trying to quench our thirst, when all you really need is a glass of H2O!
Try drinking a glass of room temperature water 10 minutes before you sit down for a meal. Not only will you fill up your stomach causing you to eat less, but it also helps transport vital nutrients throughout your body and remove toxins from your liver and kidneys.
“Eat Your Veggies”
You heard your mother saying this on repeat. Vegetables are fiber, nutrient and antioxidant packed and are naturally low in fat and calories. Veggies may also reduce risk of heart diseases and certain cancers. The dietary fiber in vegetables may also help with digestion issues such as constipation and diverticulitis.
Don’t like veggies? Try sneaking them into foods you love. When my son was young, I would add finely diced carrots, onions and chopped spinach to meatloaf for extra nutrients. To this day, he still adds the spinach into his meatloaf for that extra punch of nutrients!
Sometimes, it isn’t a taste issue, but a texture issue. Try eating them raw for a crunch, instead of mushy and see if you like it better. Also, if a weird vegetable at the market looks interesting, grab it and cook it up! You just might find something new you like!
Pay Attention to Food Labels
Names can be misleading! Check the labels. It will give you a guideline of what you are putting in your body. Look at the at the amount of sugar and salt that is in the product. You might just be surprised. Take yogurt, for example. There is naturally occurring sugar from the lactose in plain yogurt, but when companies add fruit and dessert flavorings, it ramps up the sugar contents dramatically! According to Yoplait, it’s original strawberry flavor has 26g of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that you should eat a maximum of 37.5g of sugar for men and 25g of sugar for women a day. Now, think about how much sugar is in just one 6oz container of yogurt. It is food for thought!
Take Advantage of Tech
Try logging your food intake and your exercise! Apps like Dietcontroller or sites like livestrong.com can help you record your diet and exercise regimen. New wireless fitness trackers like Fitbit or Nike+ Fuelband make tracking your daily activity and caloric intake easier. You can also see what your friends are doing by sharing stats and cheering each other on. Try free workout apps on your smartphone or tablet, like Fitness Buddy or 7 Minute Workout. Try it for free before purchasing it. It is a fun and easy way to start exercising!
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Do you find exercise boring? Don’t even know where to start? Try a fitness class or take a lesson that you would not likely do. You might find out that you like it. Have you ever wanted to try Zumba, yoga, karate or crossfit? How about surfing? Here is your chance and be active. Don’t worry about looking silly or that you can’t do the moves right off the bat. Everyone starts somewhere. The point is to get out there and give it a chance! You might find the right exercise regimen that doesn’t even feel like exercise!
Take a Vitamin Supplement
If your diet is lacking, as many are in this modern day, you should consider taking a vitamin supplement. Vitamins will take up the deficiencies in your diet to make sure that you are getting proper nutrients that your body needs. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there are 10 lacking nutrients in the average diet, four of which are so low that it can pose a public health risk. These 10 are:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
Take Time For You
We try to do it all. Between work, family and friends, we spread ourselves thin. You should be one of your top priority list. Oftentimes, we fail to give to ourselves. You need to learn to relax and take some time for yourself. It is alright to be selfish once in a while. Whether it be uninterrupted bath time, a leisurely walk on the beach or at the park, curling up to read a book, or doing a favorite craft, spend some time with yourself. Reconnect with you. Do something wholly just for you. Your ultimate well being will thank you for it.
Remember: Take baby steps to an ultimate goal of being a healthier you. Start small and you will find that getting healthy is not hard at all. All it takes is little steps to start your journey to good health!
Written By: Samantha English