If you haven’t made yourself the annual promise to get into shape and be healthier, get ready – it’s coming! All of us want to be a better version of ourselves, whether it’s inside (cholesterol, etc..) or outside (think waistline). We have 10 tips that could make a big difference making 2020 your year for success and it is as simple as eat, sip, do!
1. Eat your vegetables. Vegetables are nutrient dense but not energy dense. What does that mean? You get a lot of nutritional bang for very few calorie bucks.
2. Choose whole grains. Finally someone is not telling you to stop eating grains, just make better choices when you do. People who eat whole grains compared to those who eat none have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
3. Consume fish at least once a week. The omega-3 fatty acids in some fish have proven heart health benefits. Choose fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout and eat 8-12 ounces each week.
4. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water. About 60% of the human body is made up of water. Water helps keep hunger in check, makes your skin glow, aids the kidneys in flushing toxins, and keeps your bowels moving. Hang tight, I’m going to fill my glass now!
5. Limit alcohol. Yes, I know wine is part of the Mediterranean diet, but if you don’t drink, don’t start, and if you do, most experts recommend no more than 1 per day for women. Alcohol contributes unnecessary calories to your diet, makes you hungry, and decreases your willpower to pass up on fatty/sugary foods. Sure, have that glass of champagne on a special occasion, but pass up the next for a sparkling water with lemon instead.
6. Pack your lunch. Save calories AND money. The average meal when dining out clocks in around 1,200 calories and will cost you between $10-15 on average. Packing a peanut butter and banana sandwich with a side of baby carrots only sets you back about 500 calories for under $2.
7. Go sugar free, including artificial. If you can’t go cold turkey, follow the American Heart recommendation which is no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day for women.
8. Try “Meatless Monday” to increase your intake of plant-based proteins. Eating more plant-based foods may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, provide nutrients like potassium and fiber, and reduce inflammation. Not only is swapping meat for plant foods good for your body, it’s good for the planet too! Try pairing black or pinto beans with brown rice or quinoa and top with some avocado, salsa, and cilantro for a Mexican bowl.
9. Cook dinner at least 3 nights a week. One survey found that Americans eat out between 4-5 times per week on average. Just like bringing your lunch, cooking dinner saves you calories and money. Meal prep on the weekend or cook in bulk during the week to make cooking during the work week less of a hassle. I like theme nights so I don’t have to think about it i.e. Taco Tuesday or Fish Friday.
10. Exercise for at least 150 minutes each week. Exercise reduces your risk of several diseases, helps manage your blood sugar and weight, and improves your mood and sleep. Combine exercise with eating right to feel like a hundred bucks! Don’t believe me? Try Balance, our 12-week program that teaches you how to eat right and exercise for your lifestyle. Meeting with your personal trainer, taking one of our many Group Exercise classes, or simply hopping on an elliptical will help you easily meet this goal.