It’s that time of year again – New Year’s resolutions time. Like some of us, you may have made resolutions before that just didn’t stick. The good news is, there are simple ways to make sure your diet and nutrition plan are resolutions you can keep this year. If you’re tired of feeling unmotivated or worried you’ll have to give up your favorite foods, read on to learn how to challenge yourself without depriving yourself.
How to Diet and Still Love Your Meals
One of the reasons we love fast food is that it’s easy and requires little thought or effort to buy. From eating it often, it becomes a top food in our diets, and we crave it more. Did you know that we can condition our bodies to love healthy foods just as much as McDonald’s French Fries?
Start small by focusing on one meal a day, whether it’s lunch or dinner and make healthy changes. Allow vegetables to be a focal point, then add brown rice or quinoa, lean meats, beans, and grains. To make meals easier, try a meal plan method, by cooking up a large veggie stir fry, wholesome chili, or healthy breakfast quiche that will last for several meals throughout the week.
Understand that you won’t get healthy overnight and forgive yourself and move on if you eat an entire pizza for dinner one night or load up on dessert. Try making your own pizzas at home, loaded with veggies and find simple baking recipes using natural sweeteners to fulfill your sweet tooth.
Lastly, don’t think of your diet as just a way to lose weight. Diets work better if you begin thinking about them as your new lifestyle and way of eating, rather than a quick fix to a problem. That’s why it’s so important to find healthy foods and versions of meals you enjoy.
How to Stick to Your Exercise Plan
Exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. Exercise is crucial to gain lean muscle and get the body composition of your dreams. While it can be a challenge for beginners, there are easy ways to meet your goals.
To make sure your exercise plan sticks, start small without disrupting your life. Begin by joining an exercise class or taking daily walks or runs with a friend to hold you accountable. From there, slowly add more exercise into your routine, scheduling your workouts, so you don’t forget about them or skip them.
Don’t forget to celebrate your victories: not eating fast food for a week, not missing an exercise session for a month, etc. Many people focus only on misses, rather than focusing on their successes. If you miss a workout, don’t stress about it. Move on. If you forget to meal plan, don’t be too hard on yourself. (Check out this related article: What to Eat Before and After a Workout)
If you go into 2021 with a positive, encouraging mindset, you’ll find your diet and exercise plans might just finally stick with you for years to come.