The holidays are over, and 2016 is here.
And that’s exciting. But did you overindulge in December? We all likely did.
Don’t worry, though. There’s loads you can still do to get fit for the rest of the year. And we know how hard it is to make major healthy lifestyle changes, so we’re sharing small health swaps that add up to make noticeable differences.
Make 2016 Count
- Choose healthier bagels, scoop them out, or only eat half a bagel. We all know that bagels are delicious, but most of the time, they tend to be low in fiber and protein and super high in carbs and sodium, which is a lethal combination for weight gain. Instead of buying regular bagels, consider scouting out sprouted wheat bagels or flourless ancient grain ones that are low glycemic index. Alternatively, you can also scoop out your bagels to help cut excess calories and carbs or you can just cut back to eating half a bagel. Whichever option you choose, be sure to use low-fat cream cheese.
- Be careful with salads. Even though salads generally are super healthy, they can be deceiving, so you have to watch out. Many salads are laden with fatty dressings and toppings, so you have to be choosy if you don’t want to pack on the pounds. A good rule to follow when eating a salad is to stick to dark leafy greens, and then pile on unlimited vegetables. Watch the extras like cheese, nuts, seeds, croutons, and dried fruit. Be sure to add a lean protein, like eggs or tofu, and stick to two tablespoons or less of dressing.
- Don’t skip out on meals, especially breakfast. Why? Because eating regular meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism revved up and stabilizes your blood sugar. Plus, you’ll be less likely to overindulge later on.
- Cut back on alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol contains empty calories. While you don’t have to eliminate alcohol altogether, you should cut back to no more than four to six drinks per week, if you want to watch your weight. If you must drink, avoid cocktails and beer, and instead, stick to dry wines.
- Be careful of cereals. Even though some brands claim that their cereals are healthy, upon inspection of the nutrition label, it becomes clear that they aren’t. In fact, Raisin Bran and Kashi Go Lean Crunch have more sugar than Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Mini Wheats. You should also watch out for artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colorants. Look for cereals low in sugar and high in fiber and protein.
- Don’t be afraid to indulge a little bit. Most diets that are too restrictive inevitably fail. There’s no reason to deprive yourself of sweets as long as you keep it to a small portion. If you’re craving something sweet, try eating a bowl of fruit, greek yogurt, or an apple with peanut butter. Or just indulge in three squares of dark chocolate or two small cookies.
- Keep a food diary. Most people tend to underestimate the amount they eat. But when people write down what they eat, they’re more likely to consume fewer calories. You can also use free online apps to track your calories and exercise, such as myfitnesspal or fitday.
- Exercise! Exercise is a must for weight loss, and it goes hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. Try to make time for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. But if you can’t make it to the gym, then try to get in at least 10,000 steps per day. Plus, exercising regularly burns additional calories, increases your metabolism, and helps to reduce stress.
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