More vitamins? Less sugar? Dairy-free? Studies suggest that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. But hey, we all know that there will be bumps in the road and some of us may sooner or later fall off the New Year’s resolution wagon. The important thing here is that you don’t let that drag you down; just jump on again and start with these 9 simple changes for a healthy new life!
9 Easy Ways to get back on the New Year’s Resolution Wagon
1. Start each day with a protein rich breakfast
Stop going the easy way. Take your time to prepare a nutritious first meal of the day. Eating a breakfast that contains protein, along with healthy fats has been proven to increase long-term satiety, which means that we are less likely to engage in binge eating later in the day. It is a great way to ensure that you are starting your day off right.
2. Know (your) macros
Get familiar with macro nutrition and calculate your optimal daily calorie intake, as well as your caloric ratio of carbs, proteins and fats. Know the healthy sources of those nutrients and incorporate the right amount of each group in every meal. The simple guidelines below can help you establish healthy and long-lasting eating habits, which on the long haul will change your lifestyle to the better.
3. Drink a glass of water right after you wake up
Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to start kicking ass from the moment you wake up. While you sleep, your body slowly becomes dehydrated because it needs fluid to operate. Therefore, one of the best things you can do after waking up is to drink at least half a liter (16oz) of water. This will fire up your metabolism, and help your kidneys flush out accumulated toxins. It also gives your brain fuel: brain tissue is 75% water. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain functions are limited, and you can experience fatigue or mood fluctuations. Water also helps to fill your stomach. Drinking water in the morning, and before each meal, can help you eat less, and prevent from over-eating.
4. Tackle your weaknesses
Did you know that unhealthy food cravings can indicate a mineral deficiency? Don’t wait those cravings to strike: Identify your craving and fuel your body accordingly to avoid the next snack attack!
5. Toss out the processed foods
Packaged snacks, pastries and ready-to eat meals are highly processed foods, that are infused with empty calories and artificial additives that mess with our digestive system and metabolism. They just sit there, waiting for that moment of weakness late at night or on a stressful day at work. Be pro-active and never invite the enemy to your house or office again. Instead make your own, what brings us to number 6 of this list.
6. Bring your own snacks
Don’t ignore the problem, instead be aware of your snacking habits and be ready for the next time when a snack attack is about to hit you: Buy yourself a snack box – yes, like the ones our mom’s packed us for school – and stock it up with healthy, nutritious snacks. Instead of buying sugary or starchy foods at the convenient store around the corner, bring boiled eggs, fruit or raw nuts and seeds that are high in healthy fats and minerals and trace elements. Buy yourself a food processor and prepare your own nut butter and energy bars, that can be stored in the fridge for a long time and are ready to grab every day.
7. Eat seasonal foods
Each season offers an array of beautiful fresh produce. They are not just much cheaper and environment-friendlier, they also taste much better, given you store them correctly (chilling will reduce the flavor!). Vitamins and minerals rapidly decline (when stored for periods of time due to transportation), and the foods appear rather limp and dried up, whereas in-season sourced fruits and vegetables appear brighter and more vibrant, simply because they are fresher and higher in nutritional value.
8. Make your own sauces
Commercial sauces are commonly packed with sugar, salt and nasty artificial additives to make them more tasty, look nicer and to preserve them for a longer period of time. Avoid those hidden calories and health risks and make your own favorite sauces instead. Here are a few flavor combinations from fresh and natural ingredients: Go spicy with chili & lime; à la Provence with vinegar and fresh herbs; Asian with garlic, low-sodium soy sauce and ginger; choose sweet flavors with mustard and honey; Middle-Eastern with plain yogurt and mint, or Mexican with tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
9. Eat more healthy fats
There are fats that indeed have negative effects on our health and body composition. However, those are the exception rather than the rule. The majority of fats however, if consumed in moderation, are essential for various body functions to be carried out. Fats provide cushioning for our organs, maintain cell membranes and help our body absorb essential micro nutrients (minerals and vitamins A, D, E, K). Particularly the consumption of medium-chain fatty acids (e.g. in coconut oil) has been proven to increase long-term satiety and prevent certain diseases and health risks.
Note: Unhealthy fats are the exception, rather than the rule.
Want to go all the way in 2017 but don’t know how?
RAWK is a great way to kickstart a healthy new life! We make structured dieting and clean eating simple. Our food is minimally processed, seasonally sourced and chef-prepared. We deliver daily and provide free nutritional advice around the clock. Scan the QR code to calculate your optimal daily calorie intake and caloric ratio of your macros, and start eating right today!