At the start of every year, we promise ourselves that we will ditch the diet sodas, cut calories, save more money and spend extra time with our families. And then by Feburary, we’ve fallen back into our same old routine. You can’t expect an old habit to die overnight, just like you can’t quit smoking by the weekend or lose 25 pounds before MLK day. With small changes come big results, so try out these little tips for a big impact on your life.
1. Commit. Whatever goals you may have set, you need to make a commitment. Write it out, tell your spouse, share on social media. Do whatever it takes to make you stick with it. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’ll be easier to get started and stay on track.
2. Eat more spinach. Spinach is a leafy green that has VERY low calories but is filled with vitamins, fiber and protein. Adding spinach to your meals will help you to get healthier and fill up faster. You can easily cut it up and add it to an omelet, use it in place of lettuce on your sandwich or sauté it and add it to any sauce at dinner time. It’s also a great base for a salad or smoothie.
3. Turn off your TV. The TV always seems to be on, even if you aren’t paying attention. Instead of using your very small amounts of free time to watch reruns of Law and Order, use it to fit in some extra play time with the kids, read a book or try out some relaxing yoga.
4. Start waking up earlier. If you wake up 20 minutes earlier, you’ve got 20 more minutes of alone time, 20 minutes to make a nice breakfast, 20 minutes to prepare for your day. You can even do this quick early morning workout routine before you hop in the shower.
5. Start parking farther away. You have probably read this tip before, but have you actually started doing it? Park further away from work, at the other end of the supermarket parking lot or, if you don’t have a driveway, park a block away from home. Walking more means burning more calories and that’s what will help you lose weight.
6. Pack your lunch. Stop eating out when you go into the office! You are wasting money and calories. Even a healthy option at a restaurant is over sized and is probably packing extra calories. Make your own lunch or pack leftovers from the night before.
7. Check your condiments. First off, try using less ketchup, BBQ or whatever condiment you are using. Many condiments are packed with sodium and sugar so read the labels carefully and consider making your own.
8. Drink more water. Water is an essentially part of our body. It’s necessary for everyday function and vital to a successful workout. It may also help you to lose weight!
9. Ditch bad carbs. Say bye-bye to your white bread and replace it with whole grains. A complex carb is much healthier for you and will still give you the same tasty results. There are whole-wheat breads, pastas, flour and more for you to pick form.
10. Add more protein to your diet. Protein in your meals will keep you full to avoid snacking. It’s also what fuels and builds your muscles so it should be a big part of a pre- or post-workout snack. If you have a hard time getting in protein, try making the tasty smoothie below!