Do you make your New Year’s resolution different every year?
Making small changes in diet and exercise will reap big rewards.
Here are a few tips for a healthier diet:
- Don’t skip breakfast. “Skipping breakfast gives you the munchies later on and slows your metabolism down.” We advise to start the day with yogurt and fruit or whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
- Don’t skip any meals or snacks. “Try not to let more than five hours go by without eating. Waiting too long can zap energy, and can lead to overeating later. Eat a (healthy) snack between lunch and dinner, maybe right before leaving work, so you will be less likely to grab snack foods once you get home.”
- Include a total of 30 minutes of activity every day. “It doesn’t have to be all at once,”. If it takes 10 minutes to walk from the bus stop, get off at the next furthest stop so you get a few more minutes walking. And walk it briskly — you can lose some weight, improve your cardiovascular system, and sleep better.
- Drink fewer sodas and other sweetened drinks, like iced tea. A big bottle of a juice-based drink can contain 300 calories — and those calories add up. Drink water instead. Or mix juice and water, so you’re not drinking something so heavily loaded with sugar.
- Aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables, so you can grab them when you’re hungry.
- Keep frozen veggies in the fridge. They are easy, quick, and rich in nutrients. Take them to work for a quick lunch you can heat in the microwave. Season with black pepper, herbs, lemon juice, or a red wine-and-balsamic vinegar dressing.
- Bring snacks to work — such as pretzels, fruit, and yogurt — so you won’t find yourself at the vending machine every afternoon.
- When fixing a salad, sprinkle rolled oats or crunchy whole-grain cereal for added fiber, so you’ll feel full.
- Fix pasta dishes with veggies and lean protein (like canned tiny shrimp, tuna canned in water, pre-cooked chicken breast, or soy crumbles). Adding protein and veggies to pasta allows you to cut back on the amount of pasta (which is high in carbohydrates) while still feeling full.
- Also, hand-select a variety of fruits instead of buying one large bag of the same fruit. “After the third or fourth day of apples, you’ll likely be sick of them,” says Sass. “Mixing up a few different types of apples, one pear, one banana will keep you from getting bored.”
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