The holiday season is here but once the New Year’s parties are over you’re going to find yourself faced with a new dilema – your New Year’s resolutions. Did you promise yourself you’d start eating better this year? Are you already worried your busy lifestyle will get in the way? Here are some things you can do to stay on track and meet your goals – far into the future.
Everyone says this; nobody listens. Start slowly, changing one simple habit at a time. Do you drink 5 cups of coffee every day? Cut down to 4 for a week or two before moving on to a lower dose. Do you eat cookies as your afternoon snack at work? Replace the cookies with something naturally sweet but healthier. Modifying your entire diet in a single devastating blow will be just that – devastating. You need to allow your body to slowly wean itself away from sugar, sweets, and the things that aren’t doing you any good. Slow and stead wins the race. Getting rid of everything at once will cause cravings and over-eating when you finally cave.
Set a Menu
A lot of people who successfully eat healthier (and lose weight) have a standard menu. Breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners come from the same menu. They don’t exactly eat the same thing every single day, but they have a few go-to recipes they choose from daily. They may be easy to make, especially in bulk for more than one meal. This helps not only in food preparation, but in keeping your daily calorie counts relatively stable without spending a ton of time counting.
Stop Snacking After Dinner
Some studies have shown that those who eat an earlier dinner and then stop eating until breakfast tend to have better overall digestive habits and are more able to maintain a healthy weight. A lot of the most popular after-dinner snacks are full of fat and calories, so it’s better to avoid them and give your entire digestive system a chance to rest and recover before the next day.
Small, Frequent Meals are Best
Your body’s metabolism loves small, frequent meals because it’s less taxing on your hormones. Waiting longer than 3 hours to eat can cause your cortisol levels to go up, and cortisol tells your body to store fat. Go figure! Have some healthy snacks handy at all times and try to reduce your stress levels by not skipping meals.
Plan Your Meals
Breakfast and lunch aren’t usually problems, but dinner can be tricky – especially for families on the go. Learn to cook healthy meals that can be frozen and reheated; use that dusty crockpot; or even order healthier options from catering services like foody direct on the days you are really in a bind. Just knowing where your healthiest options are can make a huge difference.
Don’t make it a New Year’s resolution. Make it a lifestyle change. Adopt healthier eating habits in 2014 and don’t give up! These are changes that will benefit you for a lifetime.