With the holiday season only a month away, many might look back at that New Year's resolution to get healthier and fitter and wonder where it all went wrong. So often when we make a choice to be healthier we stick by our decision for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two before generally reverting back to the old (and often poor) eating and exercise habits.
There's still time to make good on last year's resolution to get healthier. Image: Freeimages.com/Cienpies Design
While getting healthier means a total lifestyle overhaul, that means a huge and often daunting commitment for most people. But, there are simpler ways to change a few things in your daily life that can pay off big time when it comes to a healthier you.
Here are a few simple things you can do to help kick start your 'healthier you' plan to get you back on track as the year comes to a close.
Make healthy food your priority and plan your meals in advance. Image: Freeimages.com/Max Straeton
Make healthy your priority. It's so easy to fall into eating what's available and quick, and more often than not, these aren't the healthiest foods. By making healthier eating a priority, you won't fall into that trap. Plan out your menu for the week, buy ONLY the groceries you need for those healthy meals and no extra snacks or junk food. Make sure you're choosing loads of healthy foods like nuts, vegetables, fruit and wholegrain foods that will keep you feeling full longer.
The same can be said for exercise, it's too easy to say "I just don't have time to go to the gym or exercise" but if you look at your daily routine you'll find that you do. Instead of sitting on the sofa watching your favorite show at night, why not do some squats during the commercial breaks? Or better yet, most gyms have televisions where you can watch your favourite program at the gym. If you make time, there will always be time.
Eat more nuts. Nuts, walnuts in particular are full of plant oils that are great for your heart and they help to curb your hunger between meals. Buy bags of them and repackage them into smaller portions to have on hand as a healthy snack at home or at your office. But remember a healthy serve is about 10 walnuts.
Eating walnuts can be a much healthier way to ease those hunger pains. Image:Freeimages.com/Wilson park
Eat what you like. Sure everyone loves to indulge in cakes and junk food from time to time, but eating poorly everyday for no other reason than you can't be bothered to eat better, is a bad idea. Eating healthy doesn't mean eating like a rabbit everyday. Find the fresh foods you enjoy and look up healthy recipes that use them. Don't force yourself to eat foods you don't like or healthy eating will feel like a punishment.
You can still enjoy a few indulgent meals here and there in moderation, just remember that restaurant meals often contain much higher calories counts that what you'd prepare at home as they are usually larger portion sizes and are cooked with more oils or butter. So to make up for the extra calorie intake, just be sure to exercise on the days you'll be eating out or getting takeaway and eat a little bit lighter for breakfast and lunch.
Eating at the table means you're less likely to mindlessly eat. Image credit:Freeimages.com/Grazyna Suchecka
Eat at the table. Typically making your meals an important part of your day means you'll be more focused on what goes onto your plate. Eating in front of the television means you're more likely to get distracted and eat more than you normally should.
Also, parents lead by example so if your children see you eating healthy, they will too.
The best way to kick-start your mind shift is to start looking at a healthy lifestyle as a non-negotiable rather than something on a wish list. Instead of waiting until it's necessary to urgently make lifestyle changes, just making a few small changes can have a big impact on your overall well being.