Maintain Your Goal of Eating Healthier (For Real)

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Hoping to eat a little healthier in the New Year and you don't want to fizzle out after the first few weeks? Set yourself up for success with a few tips and tricks and you'll be sure to knock your goal out of the park.

New Year, New You?

Instead of jumping on the latest fad, keep your perspective realistic and gradually shift your habits. You'll reap longer-lasting rewards and stick with your new healthy habits longer if you set realistic goals from the get-go.

7 Ways to Realistically Set Yourself Up for Success With Healthy Eating:

1. Eat breakfast.

The best way to start the day? Breakfast! In all seriousness, eating breakfast each day starts your metabolism off well and gets your body started and ready for the day ahead. If you skip breakfast, you're more likely to overeat as the day goes on in order to make up for the lost calories.

2. Don't skip meals.

Your body will start to shut down if you go longer than 5 hours without eating. We've all been a little hangry before (low on energy and in need of food!). When we skip meals, our body goes into protection mode and we're less likely to reach for helpful options once we are provided with the option to eat. Keep your energy high and stay fueled!

3. Move for at least 30 minutes a day.

You don't have to become a crazy marathoner or move all at once each day, but making sure you're getting some level of activity that adds up to at least 30 minutes throughout your day will ensure your muscles stay healthy, will improve your cardiovascular system, and will help lower stress. Choose some fun options — park a little further away for a few extra minutes of walking, decide to walk instead of drive if your distance is short, or plan a walk around an indoor track at the end of your day for some time to unwind.

4. Prep healthy options.

When things are convenient, you're more likely to reach for it time and time again. Set aside time to chop veggies and fruit, slice cheese and deli meat, and package up trail mix or crackers so you can easily grab things when hunger strikes. You can also use your freezer for this, too! If you have extra soup, pasta, or dinner leftover... pop it in a freezer safe dish so you have a quick lunch or dinner to use on a day you don't feel like cooking. Also, frozen vegetables come in clutch when you need a healthy side and they're simple to have on hand!

5. Pack snacks.

String cheese, fruit, beef sticks, yogurt, trail mix... there are so many options when it comes to packing up snacks. Make sure to keep one or two on hand in your desk, car, or bag so you're ready when hunger strikes. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also make sure you don't go hungry for too long and you stay energized.

6. Pass on the sweetened drinks.

Soda, sweet tea, cocktails, flavored lattes all include a lot of added sugar and calories. Choose wisely when you want to indulge in them. Having a balanced mindset here is great, but drinking them every day could lead to an excess in sugar without you really noticing!

7. Get creative — include a variety of options!

The best way for this habit to not grow old? Make sure to include a variety of fun options! It's easy to get stuck in the rut of eating the same thing over and over, but you'll quickly get sick of it and will struggle to choose another option once you get bored. Also, eating the same fruits and veggies all the time will diminish the number of helpful vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive!

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