Well, it’s that time of the year again. The December holidays have come to an end, spring semester is beginning, and most of us are facing the yearly struggle of squeezing into our jeans after eating never-ending amounts of dessert for the past month.

Although there are zero regrets for indulging on desserts beyond the amount of calories that are actually worth it, with the beginning of a new year comes the common resolution to be healthy and fit. Even though most of us give up on our New Years goals after a few weeks, there are many ways to make the initial de-bloating endeavors of January become lifelong health habits.

1. Drink Water, Not Soda

You’ve heard it a billion times, but do you actually drink eight glasses of water a day? Water is your best friend: it can help you feel less bloated, and is a much better choice than drinking extra calories and sugar from soda. Water flushes out your system, leaves you feeling extremely hydrated and helps make you feel more full after meals. When making your short-term and long-term health goals become a reality, the simple choice of water over any other beverage can make all the difference.

2. Tea, Tea, and More Tea

Tea is also a great addition to your diet, whether you want to de-bloat after the holidays or just live an overall healthier lifestyle. Tea is full of antioxidants, and is super easy to make at school. All you need is need a mug, hot water, and a tea bag. Peppermint tea and green tea are great options that clean out your holiday binge and help maintain a healthy metabolism year-round.

Lifelong health

Photo by Maeve Greeley

3. Stock Up Your Dorm With Healthy and Delicious Snacks

Keeping tons of healthy snacks in your dorm room is a great way to prevent visits to the cafeteria for pizza and French fries. Seaweed, snapea crisps, wheat thins, string cheese, air-popped popcorn, apples and frozen grapes are only a few of the many healthy alternatives you can store in your room to help fill you up and steer you away from buying a bag of Doritos when hunger strikes late at night.

Lifelong health

Photo by Dannah Strauss

4. Keep a Food Journal

Writing down the foods you consume is also a good way to motivate the selection of healthy options. When you are constantly conscious of the foods you are eating, you’ll be more likely to go for a salad or an omelet rather than a slice of chocolate cake. Eventually, these decisions will become immediate habits in your daily routine.

Even though the new year can be intimidating, it is totally feasible to make new routines this January and February that you can stick to all year. If you don’t love where you’re at with your health after the holidays, don’t stress: a healthy life is all about balance. Following these tips can be extremely helpful but it is also important to remember to love who you are and everything else will be less of a challenge.