We start new years with the best of intentions, but somewhere along the way, we get lost. Find your way back to your healthy you one choice at a time!
New Year. New You, right?
We’re into March, and maybe the New Year’s resolutions you set aren’t starting to show results or perhaps you are just having problems staying on course with all the different diets and trends. So, instead of failing at yet another resolution or starting over next year, here are a few tips to stay healthy and fit all year round starting now! Living a healthy, yet productive, life is attainable. It might take a few tries at finding what works for you, but nothing is impossible. Trust me, I’ve had my struggles, but I finally found a plan that works! In this article, I will share how to introduce a healthier lifestyle one choice at a time, how to shift from processed foods to whole, and when to listen to your body!
Always feeling sluggish, hungry and stressed? We’ve all been there at one point or another in our busy lives. It’s important to listen to what our bodies need and do not need to enjoy a healthier life. To be successful in the journey of a lifestyle change, it is crucial to get enough sleep (6 to 8 hours), to exercise, to eat a well-balanced diet, and to stay hydrated.
Lack of sleep can cause hunger pains to rise, making you want to reach for sugar, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates for energy. It is important to allow our bodies to recover from the day and be renewed. To do so, establish a bedtime routine and consistent wake up time, and stick to it! Surprisingly, regular exercise not only helps with weight loss but also helps reduce anxiety and improve quality sleep. Try for earlier workouts though to avoid the post-workout adrenaline boost.
To create a well-balanced diet typically consists of trial and error. What works best for some people may not work best for you. When your body is lacking certain nutrients, cravings usually kick in. Reaching for whole foods and plant-based protein will help satisfy your hunger and leave you feeling energized.
Eat more raw and whole foods. These include fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds. Try your best to avoid packaged and processed foods; these can be filled with preservatives, chemicals, artificial flavorings, and excess sodium. Whenever you see a product that has more than six to eight ingredients or names you cannot pronounce, it’s usually best to stay far away from them. For carbohydrates and whole grains, stick with organic oats, brown rice, quinoa, and sprouted grains. These give your body the fuel it needs and offer a significant amount of your daily whole grains. Avocadoes, coconut oil, and almond butter are essential fats that actually aid in weight loss! Another lifestyle most nutritionists encourage is eating five to six smaller meals to help keep blood sugars at a normal range and avoid the crash that leads to eating larger and unhealthier meals. A typical day of eating clean could look somewhat like this:
- Breakfast: ½ cup of oatmeal served with 2 eggs (or a plant-based protein if you are vegan)
- Snack: 1 tablespoon of almond butter and ½ banana
- Lunch: Mixed greens salad with light olive oil and a serving of black beans
- Snack: Sun Warrior Protein shake with almond milk
- Dinner: A tempeh burger and steamed zucchini and broccoli
There are obviously more delicious choices to choose from. You have so many colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as plant-based proteins to create more than one hundred combinations of meals. Of course, do not forget about water! Water is very important, not only does it keep you hydrated but it also helps keep you fuller and energized. Sleepiness, weight gain, and hunger pains can all be a result of dehydration. It is easy to remember to grab a glass when its summertime and temperatures become unbearable, but water should be your best friend all year round!
Remember, it is all about what your body responds too. If you feel that one thing is not working, try something new. It is all trial and error with no judgment! Encourage a friend or family member to join you on this journey so you can keep each other accountable, it can be fun to make challenges as well! One last thing, stay positive and the results will happen!