Hi friends! How is everything going with you? As part of Jumpstart January, I wanted to share a few tips with you all today that have helped me live a healthier lifestyle. While I can’t say that the same process works for everyone, I can say that small changes add up. We often think of being healthy as an all or nothing bet-either we workout all the time or not at all, or we are on a diet or splurging- but in reality, it’s little steps that add up to one giant healthy living staircase…err or something. So here are a few ways to take some more steps forward towards a healthier you!*
1.) Drink water. I know we all say drink water to be hydrated but seriously, if you are drinking water all the time you are going to feel more full. Also, we sometimes get hunger and thirst confused so you end up eating when you may just be hungry. Drinking water will help eliminate this. Also, if you are drinking water all the time you won’t have time to fill up on empty calories in sodas and other drinks!
2.) Limit artificial sweetener. I used to think that Splenda, Sweet n’ Low and all the other sweeteners were the way to go. Turns out, the chemicals aren’t so great for you (shocking I know!). So limiting artificial sweeteners is good for your health. If you need a sweetener, use a little bit of honey or stevia or sugar in the raw. Also, the sweeteners are so much sweeter than natural sugar they boost your sweet tooth so eliminating them will help you cut back on other sweets.
3.) Limit the booze. I know we all like to enjoy a good old glass of wine on occasion but booze equals empty calories. I limit alcohol to the weekends and drink moderately on weekends. If you are really counting calories, stick with one glass. As an FYI, champagne has the fewest calories! I also love my Skinnygirl cocktails!
4.) Walk more. Kimberly from Manifest Yourself gets off the subway to walk a crazy amount of extra blocks to her work, even in the winter!! That is dedication AND sensible. Walking more will help you burn more calories and it won’t feel so much like “working out.”
5.) Eat a healthy breakfast. It sets the tone for your day and helps keep your metabolism revving.
6.) Drink your fruits and veggies. There are some cons with juicing like not getting the fiber rich skins from the fruits and veggies but I have gotten into the habit of getting a fresh juice from the deli next to my work. It take the guesswork out of counting my fruit and veg servings!
7.) Explore new recipes. This past fall I went to the farmer’s market every week and picked up different veggies. I then tried to think up (aka Googled) different recipes to make with my finds. It was almost like a game and it makes eating healthy so much more fun when you are exploring new things.
8.) Enroll in a class. A new workout class or a healthy cooking class, just find something that will make you feel passionate about staying healthy.
9.) Don’t cut out. Cutting out entire food groups (unless it is the fast food variety) is not smart. Your body needs a balance of carbs, protein and fat to stay energized. Sure there are healthier options than eating a loaf of white bread but giving it up completely deprives your body of essential nutrients. Look for healthier options like whole wheat, lean protein and healthy fats. Some examples include whole wheat bread (look for the words whole wheat because marketers have gotten smart and now use other buzz words that can be deceiving), whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breasts, fish like salmon or sea bass, avocados and olive oils.
10.) Ditch the processed foods. This is probably one of the biggest detriments to our diets are the processed, unhealthy foods that we consume. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we are eating contains ingredients that are not so good for us. The solution is simple. Just avoid them as much as possible. Eating wholesome food will make you feel and look better!
So there you have it! A few tips to help you #JumpstartJanuary!
Readers, do you have any tips? Do you find it hard to stick to any of the above?
* I am not a registered dietitian and this information is based on years and years of trying to be healthy myself and reading everything and all things health and fitness related. If you need professional advice, please seek out someone with the appropriate qualifications.
Great tips but I love how you say not to cut whole food groups. Alot of my friends go on these crazy diets and say they are going to just completely cut stuff out like NO CARBS EVER AGAIN.. never lasts lol
Great tips! Right now I have been struggling with drinking at least 60oz of water per day. At my old job, I used to get to 120oz some days… but I am lucky if I get 32oz now. I do find that drinking threw a straw helps a bit… but the battle is hard. lol
These are all great and I have the most trouble with staying hydrated. I hate drinking water all day! I know it’s good for me so I’ve actually started drinking a smoothie a day and it’s really helping me get that H2O level UP! I’m glad to hear you’ve cut out those nasty sweeteners!! That was one of the biggest issues some of my PT clients used to have. It’s like you said, all those little things add up! Great stuff here – as usual 🙂
This is awesome! You hit everything. I mostly struggle with alcohol still. When I visit my BF in downtown Cleveland, we love having martinis, going out for drinks, and socializing that way. I’m hoping that, as long as I keep it to 1 day/week, I’ll still be ok. Otherwise, I pretty much follow the rest well. 🙂 I’m going to share this on the blog today – it’s a great post!
Alcohol is so tricky! My husband and I had wine with dinner almost every night we were on vacation. But we haven’t had any since we got back so I’m going to try and keep that going. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Beautiful picture of you doing yoga on the rock! Makes me want to go somewhere beachy.
My main problems is not drinking enough water, I would like to blame it on laziness but how lazy must you be to be too lazy to drink water? I was just in New York this week and I walked everywhere! I think I walked more in these past few days than I have this whole month, it is really refreshing.
Couldn’t agree more with all of your tips! I can so relate to the artificial sweetener one – up until a few years ago, I was eating things every single day that had sucralose and other artificial stuff in it. Now I only will eat/drink something with artificial sweeteners once in awhile, and I feel so much better knowing that I’m not putting that crap in my body! I really believe that aspartame causes a lot of health issues that have yet to be proven. For me nowadays, it’s stevia or good ole regular sugar! And I love water! I’m a water drinking machine 🙂
I do think it’s hard to stick to! I can go for months or even a year and then fall off the wagon. Right now I’m off but trying to get back on. I think it’s awesome that Kimberly has the option to walk to her work from an early subway get off. I have to drive and that is one thing I would really like about city living.
Water! That’s the one I need to remember right now.
I love, love, love all or your ideas. I think they make up the perfect well-rounded healthy lifestyle. I’m definitely a big fan of drinking water, not cutting out things entirely and limiting processed foods. 😉
Excellent workout as always. It's challenging, fun and easily one of my favorite workouts!
Fantastic class! Great technique pointers. Always new exercises to challenge oneself!
I am excited to take classes with Brittany in person this summer! I have followed Brittany online for some time. I particularly like the Barre and Pilates workout videos. Her workout techniques reflect current thinking and best practices. She supports all levels of fitness. Definitely worth a try!
Brittany is the BEST. She is inspirational, motivational and innovative. No two classes are ever the same. I'm sad when the summer classes end, but I'm looking forward to checking out her online classes this fall and winter.
My wife and I decided to give Balance Barre Fitness a try and we were not disappointed. We thought the classes would be pretty easy but were surprised at how rigorous they were. The class was great for working on our coordination and core strength. I don't get to many ...