Every year around the holidays, it’s the same deal. I always take a little too much advantage of sweater weather and justify all of my holiday eating with the classic line, “I’ll start fresh next year.” So, if you’re anything like me, here are a few easy tips to help you start off your 2016 healthier than your 2015 is ending.
Carry a water bottle around with you
It’s no secret that drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body; I mean, after all, our bodies are made up of more than 60% water. It helps regulate body temperature, kickstarts your digestive system, promotes healthy skin, prevents fatigue, cleanses your body of toxins, and even improves your immune system. All of that and it’s zero calories? This is like the ultimate Black Friday deal for your body – all of these benefits and they cost literally nothing.
It can be really hard to drink as much water as you should be while moving throughout your busy day, I get it. It’s a hassle to go out of your way to keep buying water bottles, so it’s easy to stay hydrated if you bring your own water bottle to refill as you go. You can even set goals for yourself to drink X number of refills per day.
If you’re planning ahead you could even try some of these refreshing infused water recipes.
#SpoonTip: Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon when you first wake up boosts your metabolism for the day, wakes up and cleanses your organs, and kickstarts digestion.
Replace your coffee with tea
I’m the first person to forget that just because I’m not eating it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Many people get coffee every morning without thinking twice about what they’re putting into it, but flavor swirls and syrups can be close to 100 calories per pump and are loaded with sugar. This isn’t even including cream fat and calories. Your morning coffee could be taking up a quarter of your daily calories, easily. Coffee on its own in a zero calorie drink, so if you can’t handle it black, check out these tips to avoid unnecessary calorie intake.
If you’re looking for another healthy option for caffeine intake, try tea. Green tea comes in a variety of different flavors and it’s known for containing tons of helpful antioxidants and for boosting your metabolism, all while giving you the caffeine boost that we all need in the morning.
Plan out your meals
We’re all so busy during the day, it’s impossible to find time to breathe, let alone go out and get a well-balanced meal. Everyone is guilty of “grabbing something quick” for lunch, but is that really your body’s best option? You should try planning your meals out week by week.
Our bodies run on routines and if you aren’t consistently getting the nutrients you need, your body won’t be shy about telling you and you’ll start to feel tired and sluggish. Pick a day to plan your meals each week, go shopping, and prepare everything, so your meals are ready to be cooked and will take no time at all when it comes to that time crunch in your hectic work or school week.
If you work meal prepping into your routine and make it a priority, you won’t find yourself eating junk, just because it’s quick and convenient. If you make your food a concern, it can be just as easy and it not only stops you from overeating, but it can save you money too.
#SpoonTip: Eat small and eat often. If you eat a small meal every couple of hoursm you’ll feel full throughout the day and won’t feel the need to snack.
Only buy healthy foods
Two rules of thumb for grocery shopping to remember: just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need 12 and never go shopping while you’re hungry. Go in with a plan and stick to it.
If you only buy healthy foods, you will only have healthy foods to eat. Moderation is key and I know that the Nutella is staring at you and you can hear Ben & Jerry calling your name from the ice cream aisle, but be strong, you don’t actually need them. Also, if you’re a notorious snacker, limit your choices to healthy ones, like grapes or almonds.
#SpoonTip: Make it a game and try cutting out all foods that are advertised. If you’ve seen it on TV or on the internet, don’t buy it. Think about it, when have you ever seen an ad for fruits or veggies?
Drink in moderation and watch your mixers
If you’re drinking on the weekends, plan ahead and adjust your diet that day for the alcoholic calories you’ll be consuming. Also, making sure you’re drinking in moderation and not overdoing it.
Another huge thing to consider is what mixers you’re using. Most sodas and juices used in drink recipes are loaded with sugar and other processed junk, which is what masks the alcohol, so if you’re going to a bar, check out these low calorie drinks to order when you’re out.
#SpoonTip: When mixing drinks on your own, try using something light like our favorites, the zero calorie Sparkling ICE drinks.
Eat the rainbow
Variety is key when it comes to a well-balanced diet, and when preparing foods, make sure to be getting all different kinds of fruits and veggies in your meals, not just the leafy greens that everyone seems to focus on.
The different color pigments found in fruits and vegetables come from natural chemical compounds found in plants called phytonutrients. Each color group presents a different mix of vitamins and nutrients, so the more variety you take in, the better the mix of health boosting compounds your body will be receiving.
Here’s what each color means:
Red – Supports healthy joints and a healthy heart.
Orange – Supports healthy eyes and is a good source of Vitamin C.
Yellow – Supports healthy skin and a healthy digestion system.
Green – Supports a healthy immune system.
Purple – Supports healthy brain function, can boost memory, and prevent cancer.
Don’t skip breakfast
Everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it really is. It kickstarts your metabolism and sets your body up for success for the rest of the day. Studies have shown that people have decreased memory capacity, decreased attention spans, lower energy, and poor impulse control if they skip breakfast.
Take the time to prepare something for yourself, because you can’t just run off of caffeine and if you get in the routine of sitting down each morning, you’ll be more awake and alert going forward.
#SpoonTip: If you’re pressed for time in the morning, check out these recipes for make ahead breakfasts to make your mornings suck less, such as overnight oats and homemade granola bars.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Obviously it’s important to take good care of yourself and to try to be as healthy as possible, but it’s okay if you indulge every once in a while. Stay as strict as possible in order to see and feel results, but remember that one bad day isn’t going to be the end of the world, as long as they aren’t frequent. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s okay to treat yo self.