A New Year calls for a fresh start with resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more frequently, and make your health a top priority. But good health requires more than just a desire to change. If you want to improve your diet and kickstart your fitness plan, then you must create an actionable plan with specific, measurable goals, and you will need a partner to hold you accountable when the going gets tough—and it will.
January is the perfect time for examining your lifestyle and making changes to improve your health. Here are some ideas to help you on your journey to a new you:
Schedule a routine check-up with your physician. Annual check-ups can reveal health anomalies and help you see how much weight you may need to lose.
Determine your calorie budget. Use a tool like Calorie King to determine how many calories you need to eat in order to lose or maintain your current weight based on height, weight, age, gender, and daily activity level.
Keep a food journal. Some people use a notebook, others prefer an app like My Fitness Pal. Either way jot down what you eat, when you eat it, and take note of the calories, fat, carbs, and any other nutritional information you want. If you’re trying to lose weight, then of course you will need to burn more calories than you consume.
Commit to getting active. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to exercise. Decide what physical activities most excite you, and make a plan to start doing them! If you’re thinking about joining a gym, take advantage of the free trial period many local gyms offer. Make exercise another appointment on the calendar: Don’t cancel unless you’re sick or there’s an emergency.
Seek out an accountability partner. In the first few weeks of a new diet, you’re gung-ho and everything seems to be going smoothly. Then, around 4-6 weeks you start to hit some bumps and begin to flounder. That’s when you need a good friend and support to encourage you and keep you focused on your goal.
Go whole foods, and lose the processed. Stop buying foods that you know are red flags to your health like chips, cookies, crackers, bakery items, TV dinners, and fast food. Out of sight, out of mind. Instead, fill up your pantry shelves and refrigerator with natural, whole foods like fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and whole grains. Look at ingredient labels, and eschew any foods with ingredients you can’t read or pronounce.
Eat seasonal. Fruits and vegetables are at their nutritional peaks at specific times of the year. Find out what’s in season each month (hint: look at what’s on sale at your local grocery store). Buying what’s in season is healthier and also economical. Below you’ll find a list of what’s in season this month; try to incorporate these foods into your diet.
I’ve created a meal plan of 31 days of colon-healthy meals (link below) to help you eat these seasonal whole foods:
January Seasonal Produce
This year, don’t just say you’re going to eat healthier and exercise more; create a plan and stick with it. Put these tips into practice and try some new recipes in the January Meal Plan (link below), and you’ll be well on your way to the new, healthier YOU that you have always wanted!
Follow my Colon-Healthy Recipes board on Pinterest where you’ll find over 1,570 recipes.