Five tips to get you on track for a healthy new year
The New Year is here and if you plan on getting healthier this year with a diet and exercise program, let's get started.
So where do you begin?
Sometimes it's the little things done consistently that make all the difference.
Here are five tips that you can do every day to help support weight loss and overall health. Start practicing these tips and they will soon become part of your healthy lifestyle habits.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. Most people realize they should eat breakfast, but they "just don't have the time." Well, breakfast is important enough to make time for. And that doesn't include coffee and a breakfast bar from the convenience store.
Breakfast should consist of a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. An example would be two eggs and a ½ cup of blueberries -- real food loaded with real nutrients.
2. Drink half your weight in ounces of water every day. Proper hydration is one of the most important, but most overlooked, fundamentals of health and well-being. Your body cannot function efficiently if you are in a constant state of dehydration.
Keep a large water bottle on your desk at work or in your fridge at home to remind you to stay hydrated. A 150-pound person would need about 75 ounces or about four or five bottles a day.
Of course, we're talking pure water here -- any other liquids don't count toward this total.
3. Eat a balanced meal or snack every three hours. Even though an apple is healthy, your body breaks it down into sugar. Eat too much sugar at one time and you'll disrupt normal blood sugar levels and store more fat.
No need to stop eating fruit, but you should start combining foods to get a complete balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
So instead of just eating the apple (carb), add some sliced turkey (protein) and a few almonds (fat) for a balanced snack. By eating a complete snack between meals, you'll be less likely to overeat at lunch and dinner.
4. Avoid processed foods and those with artificial ingredients. Of course a healthy diet consists of eating the right foods, but also avoiding the wrong foods.
Processed foods, such as frozen dinners, cereals, and sugary drinks have a very low nutritional density per calorie. So, you end up getting too many calories and too few nutrients.
Most processed foods also contain many added ingredients, such as chemical dyes and artificial sweeteners, which are not part of a healthy diet.
5. Avoid drinking your calories in the form of soda, juice, alcohol, etc. By increasing your water intake, you should be able to decrease these types of beverages.
Soda and alcohol are loaded with sugar and empty calories that have no nutritional value. And although fruit juices may seem healthy, they are high in sugar as well.
Rather than always drinking a glass of orange juice with breakfast, try eating an actual orange. It has the same nutrient profile with less sugar and less calories.
So there you have it -- five little changes that make a big difference. Turn these tips into habits and you will soon see and feel the benefits.
For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit PushFitnessTraining.com for links to our blog and social media resources.
• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.