Today begins a brand new year and a beckoning nudge to start fresh. Whether you’re hoping to jumpstart a weight loss plan, trim those last few pounds, or just hit the reset button on your indulgent holiday habits, these 5 simple strategies will have you feeling fresh and clean in 2016.
1. Drink up. After a spirit-filled holiday season, there’s nothing like a glass of water to reboot your system. Water makes up the internal stream that flushes waste and toxins from your body and hydrates your cells to help you look and feel your best. Plus, we often mistake thirst for hunger. Sip in style with a bottle like S’well—it keeps your water cold for 24 hours and doubles as a fashion accessory. They’re pricey, but how much do we spend on the 50 billion plastic bottles that get dumped in landfills each year?
2. Stop exercising. Start being active. For many people, adopting an exercise routine can have the opposite effect—you burn 200 calories on the treadmill, but wind up eating 500 more a day. When it comes to food math, we’re all pretty lousy at guesstimating our caloric intake. Plus, if you miss one day, it can feel like a major setback. So forget the number crunching and move because it makes you feel good. Who knows, you just might lose some weight. Commit to be active every day. Need a constant reminder? Invest in a FitBit or exercise tracker to help you hit your daily goal. The $59-$259 you’ll spend will go a long way for your health.
3. Toss the carbs in your cupboard. We all know it by now—Chips, pretzels, crackers and leftover holiday cookies offer up very little nutrition and wreak havoc on our blood sugars. Plus, it’s hard to control your portions with these comforting foods. Grab a trash bag and start purging these temptations that get in the way of your intentions to eat better. Out of sight, out of mind.
4. Stock your freezer with colorful veggies. Keeping fresh produce on hand is great, but unless you’ve already adopted the veggie routine, it’s hard to coordinate the meals before the lettuce smells funky. Don’t let a lack of planning spoil your intentions to add something nutrition-packed to your meal. What’s more, frozen is often even more nutritious than fresh since it’s harvested at peak ripeness. I like to keep bags of broccoli florets to pair with my salmon, stir-fry mixes to toss with sautéed shrimp, and spinach to blend into my smoothies or whip up with eggs.
5. Plan to indulge every single day. Deprivation doesn’t work. Delicious food brings pleasure. If you love cookies and can’t imagine life without their mouthwatering taste, then I say go ahead and have them every day. Make it part of your routine, something you look forward to at the end of a long hard day. But have just one, eat it slowly, and enjoy it. (No, a pint of ice cream does not count as one.)
Make this year–this you–great.