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  • Writer's pictureJanice Tracey

One Step at a Time for 2020

Pledge to snack smart, plan your meals, and try new healthy foods. Adopt these simple healthy habits and get the new year off to a good start.

Christmas is the biggest time of year for over indulging in sweets and treats with family, friends, and colleagues.

But with this busy season behind you, you'll have more time to concentrate on yourself and get back to your healthy habits. To get started, here are eight New Year’s resolutions for a healthier 2020.

A Fresh Start

You may have a lot of leftover Christmas goodies, but either bin them, give them away or freeze them. Clear out what’s lingering from the holidays and start the new year with a clean slate. If it’s there, you’ll eat it. Clear out the fridge and biscuit cupboard and restock them with healthier food like cut-up veg, fresh fruit, slices of chicken or turkey, oatcakes, nuts and hummus. That way, when you reach for food, you have no choice but to eat healthy.

Snack Smart

As you transition from overeating and possibly over dosing on simple carbohydrates, your metabolism might need a helping hand to get back to normal. Eat smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day, which can crank up your metabolism and help you burn more calories more easily. Good foods to snack on between meals include cut-up fruit and vegetables, oatcakes with hummus or peanut butter. Smart snacking can control your hunger, and you won’t feel as though you’re depriving yourself as you try to lose those holiday pounds. After a few weeks there are different eating styles you might want to try. I'm a big fan of Intermittent Fasting. Check out my Guest Blog for North Star Health and Well Being

Pack Your Lunch

In the first few weeks of a new regime, I suggest you eat out as little as possible. When you go out to eat, you have no idea what you’re going to eat, and without a plan, you leave yourself open to making less-than-ideal choices. At restaurants, you may also feel obligated to get your money’s worth and end up overeating, especially since many restaurant portions are oversized. This is easy to do for lunchtimes. When you pack your lunch, you can bring healthy foods that fill you up without adding hidden fat and calories.

Practice Portion Control

Yip, you can get too much of a good thing. You can eat too much fruit, hummus, avocado, nuts. Even if you’re eating only healthy foods, if you’re not mindful of how much you’re eating, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight will be difficult. Portion control can be as simple as using a smaller plate and filling half the plate with vegetables. It’s worth noting that whilst a normal dinner plate for an adult is 9 inches in diameter, the standard trendy dinner plate we normally use is nearer 11-12 inches.

Try Something New

Healthy choices don’t have to be boring. You can excite your taste buds by trying a new recipe or even just a new fruit or vegetable at least once a week. Or do something different with the same vegetable. Mashed cauliflower? Roasted broccoli? Chipped celeriac? Why not try a different cooking method? Steam, bake, dry fry, or eat raw? All these wee changes will keep boredom at bay.

Stay Hydrated

We often confuse thirst for hunger. We reach for food instead of water, and we end up eating when we’re only thirsty. Try keeping a bottle of water at your desk. When you think you’re hungry, take a drink and see whether this “quenches” your need for food.

Move More

Focus on being more active. The more you move, the more calories you burn, and the more calories you burn, the easier it is to control your weight and get in good shape. Try to stay on your feet as much as possible. Incorporate short exercise sessions into your day. Check out my blog titled Snatch an Exercise Snack for tips on how to include more short activity bursts into your day.

Mind your Mind

Including some regular activity can be a great mood management strategy as well as burning on a few calories and toning up. Taking it a step further and implementing a daily meditation routine can be the next step in prioritising your mental health. Mediation encourages resilience and helps with managing stress. Try out the Daily Calm, a 10 minute daily guided meditation of the CALM app.

These resolutions for healthy habits shouldn’t be hard to adopt. Take one change, stick with it and make it part of your daily routine. Consistency is the key to success. When you have one change bedded in, add in another.

Small Steps Equal Success.

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