2023 has just begun, which can only mean one thing. All the “New Year, New Me” gimmicks are going to be coming at us full force. It can seem overwhelming with all of the choices and products being presented to us. However, in reality, all you need to do is keep it simple and get back to the basics: nutrition, water, sleep and physical activity!
There are literally thousands of different diets and meal plans that are available at our fingertips. How do you know which one is actually going to work for you? Well, first ask yourself if it is something that you are going to be able to follow long term? If it is super restrictive, chances are, while it may help you lose weight initially, it is not going to be realistic to stick to for any period of time.
I know we would all like to have a quick fix, where we see results right away, but that just isn’t how it works. At least not if you want the results to be lasting and long term. It is going to take work on your part, and patience, which is not most of our strong suits.
Small, consistent changes are what are going to be the easiest to stick to, and not as daunting as a huge overhaul.
Pack your lunch to bring to work. This will save you money and is almost always a MUCH healthier option, rather than grabbing fast food. Once your co-workers see you making healthy changes, you might even inspire them too!
Plan your meals for the week. Take some time each weekend to figure out what meals you want to cook for dinner throughout the week. This takes the guesswork out of figuring what to make for dinner every night, and having a schedule alleviates unnecessary stress.
Pro Tip: When you are making your dinners, double the recipe so you have leftovers for lunches and/or dinner for a couple days.
Meal Prep: Now this doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen. But taking some time each weekend, to get some food items prepped and ready to go, will save you time throughout the week. This could be making a batch of hard-boiled eggs, cutting up fruits and veggies, roasting a pan of potatoes/veggies, or browning a couple pounds of meat. Having items on hand, especially if you have a hectic schedule, will help you stay on track.
Incorporate a Balanced Plate: If you are just getting back into the routine of eating healthy, you might not want to jump right in to measuring or counting macros. Aiming to have a “balanced plate” for each of your meals, is a great start to making healthier choices.
A “balanced plate” = a protein, carb, fat and veggie at each snack/meal.
See the diagram below for an example 😊
Palm Method Measuring: If you are looking to step things up slightly from the balanced plate method, the palm method is a great option too. Since you have your hand with you wherever you go, it is a very handy measuring tool. This will help get you used to recognizing proper serving sizes too! Check out the diagram below for an example 😊
Most of us do not drink enough water, but it is so important for so many things:
Helps maximize your personal performance.
Helps increase energy levels.
Helps your brain perform better.
Helps you lose weight.
Helps regulate your mood.
Helps you from suffering from constipation.
Aids in digestion.
Helps flush bacteria from your bladder.
Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
Helps maintain electrolyte (sodium) balance.
Ideally, aim for 100 oz per day for females and 120 oz per day for males. However, if this is an overwhelming goal to start with from the get-go, shoot for a smaller number and increase from there. For example, hit 60 oz of water per day for a week consistently, then aim for 70 oz per day the following week. Before you know it, you will be at the 100/120oz goal!
Good sleep hygiene is so important in not only our fitness journey, but our overall health is general. While getting an adequate amount of sleep is important, the amount of quality sleep you are getting is the crucial piece.
Sleep plays a huge role in so many areas of our life, including:
Ability to build muscle & burn fat
To get the best quality sleep possible, here are a few tips:
- Keep your room dark and cool.
- Try to limit electronics 1 hour before bed.
- Give yourself a caffeine cut off time each day.
- Stick to a similar sleeping schedule each night (even on the weekends).
Many of us have sedentary jobs and are not getting much in the way of physical activity in our normal day to day routine. It’s important to try to incorporate physical activity into your day, whether it is something simple like a walk, or resistance training.
Resistance Training: Aim to get in some type of resistance training (body weight, HIIT workout, CrossFit, etc.) 3-5 days per week. Resistance training is beneficial for everyone, whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain where you are currently at. 3 key benefits to Resistance Training:
For some support as you “get back to basics”, join the supportive fitness Facebook community, “Fit in the Mitt!” And be sure to check out some of my favorite fitness items for your home gym in the blog post, Maintaining Healthy Habits during the School Year.