As I moved through the holiday season with family and friends, I heard all the chatter of losing weight in the New Year. With a cookie or a dipped chip in hand we talked of our plans for shedding these indulgent pounds that we had gained over the last months, or maybe years. There are hundreds of dietary theories of how to combat the holiday bulge that becomes the yearly bulge. How do you decide which bulge battling theory is right for you? Here are 5 small steps that are great for EVERYONE seeking a new year of healthy lifestyle change:
- Increase water intake! Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue, headaches, and sugar cravings. Drop the caffeine, drop the sodas, drop the juices, or any liquids that have sugar (yes, organic sugar included) or artificial sweeteners. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes prior to each meal to prevent overeating. If cravings are a problem throughout the day, try drinking a glass of water first to alleviate the cravings. Simply carry a glass water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure adequate water intake or a means to attack sugar cravings. Drink more water. You will have more energy, less headaches, less cravings, and you will be healthier for it—and it is easy.
- Get over those sugar cravings by increasing your intake of natural, sweet vegetables. Sweet Potatoes, carrots, beets, butternut squash etc. are all sweet satisfying vegetables. Your body will recognize these natural carbs and be thankful for the fiber! They will satisfy you sugar cravings as well!
- Get into that kitchen! It is a friendly place full of love and goodness. Start simple and keep it real! Real fruits, real vegetables, and real, high quality proteins. Avoid the microwave and pre- packaged, processed foods. With the internet, it is real simple to find healthy, quick, whole food recipes. You and your family are worth the time and effort, though significant effort and time is no longer required to cook and eat healthy.
- Increase the Leafy Greens. Yes, your mother is always right. These greens are powerful, nutrient dense calories that taste great—spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion, turnip greens, romaine… the list goes on. They are great raw in salads, lightly sautéed with stir-fry, or hidden in a smoothie! Make a plan to get your greens!
- Be prepared, but it doesn’t require to much time. Pick a day to plan your weekly meals, shop, wash and prep your vegetables. This small step of preparation will decrease your excuses when time is running short during a busy week—trust me, we have all been there.
January is just the beginning of a NEW, healthy lifestyle for 2016. Setting small obtainable goals is the key to making permanent, effective, lifestyle change for the future. Stay tuned for more recipes, ideas, and tips for steps to a healthy 2016!
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