January turns a page for many in a “New Year – New You!” All the hype is on health, nutrition, fitness, losing weight (and keeping it off!). Sounds easy, huh? Like anything, if you stick to a plan and create substitutions for the foods you love, it is a little easier than you may think.
Let’s face it, when your stomach is growling and you’re hungry – you’re hungry! Plan for the unexpected and a follow a few tips on losing a few pounds.
- Motivation: Envision yourself on the beach in June. In your mind, how do you look and feel?
- Stick to a clean diet of protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, brown rice, olive oil and avocado.
- Begin by eliminating all of the ‘white’ stuff: refined sugars, white flour, white rice, white potatoes and sugary sweets.
- Substitute brown rice for white; sweet potatoes and yams for white potatoes.
- Try eliminating all sugars for 3-4 days. Most likely, you will stop craving them.
- Limit serving sizes to ½ cup – 1 cup portions and eat 6 smaller meals rather that 3 larger per day.
- Read all food labels before you purchase, understanding the ingredients. If your grandmother would not recognize the name of an ingredient, put it back on the shelf!
- Know what your snack options are going to be as a ‘grab and go’ food.
- Limit yourself to 2-3 fruits per day.
- Fill your plate with veggies and make your salad the ‘main’ course each day, including some protein (chicken, turkey, fish or beans). The protein will help you feel full, longer. Easy-does-it on the high fat and calorie dressings.
- Take 15 minutes each week to wash, dry and chop veggies.
- Eat leafy dark greens each day.
- Make a dip for your veggies out of plain Greek yogurt, adding fresh or dried herbs, garlic, basil, parsley, chive, chili powder or cumin. Choose your favorites and create.
- Have hummus and avocado on hand for dipping.
- Steam your favorite veggies in organic vegetable broth, while adding citrus, herbs, spices, garlic and onion for flavor. Or, turn it into a veggie soup.
- Roast your favorite veggies with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
- Get moving! Exercise at least 20 minutes per day. Take a walk, ride a bike, turn on a fitness DVD, or simply stretch. Build and additional 5-10 minutes per week. Within a month, it will become a habit.
- Eliminate the stressors, taking time to be with those that you love, find peace in your day and laugh out loud.
- Hydrate within and drink lots of filtered water each day.
- Work with a buddy and compare progress.
A few healthier snack ideas:
- Brown Rice Cake spread with almond butter and sugar-free fruit spread
- Brown Rice Cake spread with goat cheese, thinly sliced apple or pear and sprinkled with cinnamon
- Brown Rice Cake spread with slices of fresh avocado and a tablespoon of salsa
- Dip your fresh veggies in hummus or Greek yogurt dip (above)
- Pack nuts and dried fruit for traveling