Ok, so maybe you overindulged a little this holiday season — but you’re not alone. If your fitness goals have taken a backseat and you haven’t eaten a vegetable in weeks, don’t punish yourself by googling every fad diet in preparation for the new year. Before you throw in the towel on this year, getting back on track with healthy eating may not be as difficult as you think! While 2021 is (thankfully) around the corner, there’s still time to make healthy changes that will last into the new year. End the year feeling your best with these nine simple tricks that will make getting back on track with healthy eating easier than ever.
9 Simple Tricks That Will Make Getting Back On Track With Healthy Eating A Breeze
#1 Commit To One Small Change
After a holiday season full of eating, we’re ready for a reset. While a new year symbolizes a fresh start, getting back on track with healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to go from zero to one hundred. Before you take your fitness resolution to the extreme (yes, we’re talking about that week-long juice fast you’ve been contemplating) consider committing to one small change!
We get it — one small change may not seem like a lot to a society who prides themselves on doing the most. While there’s nothing wrong with setting high expectations, we often expect change to happen overnight (ahh yes, the era of instant gratification). Instead of creating unrealistic goals, start small. Are you considering a vegan diet? Rather than cutting out meat cold turkey, try Meatless Mondays! Do you find yourself over-indulging when it comes to snacks? Instead of ditching snacks completely, try substituting with a healthy alternative such as a piece of fruit. Studies show long-term, realistic goals proved most effective in creating long-lasting results. When you start small and approach your goals in a healthy way, getting back on track with healthy eating can be simple and sustainable!
#2 Don’t Wait For The New Year
Ditch the “New Year, New Me” mentality! Wouldn’t it feel great to wake up on New Years Day (hangover-free) and know you’re already crushing your goals? If you need some incentive to start now, you’re more likely to accomplish your goals when you take action before the New Year. Who says you need to wait for a monumental holiday?
While there’s no doubt goal setting is effective, in order to set yourself up for success and make long-lasting changes, your goals need to be accompanied by a strategy. If getting back on track with healthy eating is your New Year’s Resolution, don’t wait for January 1st to start! 2021 is just a calendar date — if you’re ready to accomplish your goals, there’s nothing holding you back from starting now! Create actionable, attainable steps that will set you up for success well into the new year.
#3 Prioritize Daily Movement
The secret’s out: movement does not (necessarily) equal physically demanding exercise. When we say daily movement, we’re not talking about running a 5K or crushing a leg session at the gym. While these certainly fall into the category of movement, it could also include something as simple as a walk around the block or a 10 minute quick HIIT FitOn class. The goal here is to avoid being sedentary by prioritizing daily activity. Active individuals are more likely to make better choices when it comes to diet. Getting back on track with healthy eating may be as simple as prioritizing exercise! So, let’s get moving — here are some easy ways to incorporate movement into your day
- Walk your dog around the neighborhood
- Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park your car further away from your destination to get some extra steps in
- If possible, schedule your next work meeting as a phone call so you can take it outside and walk while you talk
- Don’t underestimate the power of house chores! Mowing the lawn and scrubbing the floor can surprisingly work up a sweat
- Don’t feel overwhelmed by the idea of needing to get an hour-long workout in each day. Try two 10-15minute workout classes — one in the morning and one in the evening if your schedule allows. You would be surprised how much more doable exercise can feel in shorter chunks of time.
#4 Enlist a Buddy!
If getting back on track with healthy eating seems daunting, enlist a buddy! After all, everything’s better with a friend. You’re more likely to accomplish your goals when you have the support of an accountability partner. When you know somebody’s watching you, you’re less likely to slack off and more likely to adhere to your goals — plus, sharing the experience together is more fun!
Pro Tip: Try a FitOn party and select a class that you and your family and friends can do together.
#5 Count Colors Not Calories
Before you jump to a restrictive mindset (whether it’s cutting out carbs, alcohol, or calories, in general), consider what you could add in to your diet! Rather than placing limitations on what you can and can’t eat, prioritize filling your plate with colorful, nutrient-dense foods. Dieting can actually be a predictor of future weight gain — all the more reason to ditch the diet-mindset and opt for real, whole foods! Fill your kitchen with foods that will make you feel good (think: the more colorful the foods, the more nutrients they contain!)
#6 Meal Prep
While we’re on the topic of making smarter choices in the kitchen, if you’re serious about getting back on track with healthy eating, meal prepping is going to be your best friend! Meal prepping will not only save you time and money but by preparing ahead, you’ll be more likely to make healthier food choices. Imagine opening your fridge after a long day — you’re tired, you’re hungry, and you’re impatient. What do you see staring back at you? Definitely not your significant other — they know to stay away until you’re happily fed. What you see is the delicious assortment of portioned and prepared meals you made earlier this week — bless you, meal prep. When you have a refrigerator full of goodies, why would you order take out or reach for an unhealthy snack? By meal prepping and planning ahead, keep your goals in check by removing temptation from the equation.
Need some meal prep inspiration? Here’s a step by step meal prep guide to make recipe preparation a breeze.
#7 Don’t Drink Your Calories
Holiday drinks are sneaky culprits when it comes to holiday weight gain. Most holiday beverages are filled with excess sugar and fat while also supplying a hefty calorie count. Eggnog, spiced rum, Irish coffee — need we say more? Getting back on track with healthy eating after the holidays may be as simple as making a few healthy beverage swaps!
- Instead of eggnog, opt for frothed almond milk with honey and gingerbread spice.
- If you’re going to drink liquor, nix the simple syrup.
- Instead of spiced rum, have a glass of red or white wine.
- Going alcohol-free? Try a soda alternative like OLIPOP – it’s made with prebiotics and has a mere 3 grams of sugar.
#8 Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Speaking of drinking, making sure you’re properly hydrated is essential when it comes to getting back on track with healthy eating. Did you know signs of dehydration can be confused for feelings of hunger? This can lead you to overeat, when in reality — you’re just thirsty!
It’s true — dehydration could be derailing your weight loss efforts! Inadequate hydration has been associated with a higher BMI index. To ensure you’re properly hydrated, try these simple hydration hacks
#9 If You Indulge, Don’t Let It Ruin Your Day
Getting back on track with healthy eating isn’t always linear. Maybe you crush your week, hit all of your wellness goals, and decide to treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream to reward your hard work. Before you know it, one scoop turns into the whole carton and your healthy treat has turned into a full-blown indulgence. We’re only human and life happens! If you fall out of your routine from time to time, enjoy the indulgence and move on! Enjoying a treat every now and then can be a perfectly normal part of a healthy lifestyle, so long as it doesn’t become a habit or lead to unhealthy behaviors.
The Bottom Line
After a long year, it’s safe to say we’re counting down the days until 2020 is a distant memory. While it’s great to set new goals for the upcoming year, why not maintain your hard work well beyond the New Year! By implementing these simple tips, you’ll set yourself up for a year of success.