If one of your goals for 2021 is to lose weight, feel more energised, boost your confidence or simply just make some healthier lifestyle changes! These tips will help to build a solid foundation of success, they're all pretty simple, you might even be doing some already, building these habits into your daily routine will help you achieve and sustain your goals.
Clear out your kitchen!
The kitchen is the hub of the home, it's where families come together, cook, sometimes eat and where all of your food gets stored. If you want to make lasting changes, the choices you have around you are going to either support or scupper. I read a quote whilst studying for my nutrition coaching certification "If a food is in your house or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually eat it." Ain't that the truth! So whilst we think we won't raid the half opened packet of stale biscuits or the crisps for the kids lunch box, If they're not there neither is that choice and perhaps no one we care for needs them either.
Clearing out cupboards and creating a clean environment, becomes a welcoming one. Replace your cupboards with mostly whole, minimally processed foods and the chances are "either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate will eventually eat it." Besides, you might be more tempted to experiment with some simple home cooking ideas if your kitchen is organised.
Help yourself with Hydration!
How much water do you currently drink? Is it something you already know you could do with increasing? It's easy to forget to stay on top of the basics when life is busy and the day flies by, but water is what we are mostly made of and as well as it being the best pre-workout on the planet staying properly hydrated helps to transport nutrients around your body, improves digestion and thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you're not keen on plain old council pop. Add a slice of lemon, lime or orange to a glass of water, fruit tea and flavour drops work well too or if you're serious about upping your hydration game flavour your water with a hydration tab from a company like Nuun.
Ok so you're enjoying the water but just forget? Invest in a water bottle to carry around with you, start your day with 500ml to get ahead of the game and set hourly reminders using your phones alarm.
Make Veggies a Must with every Meal!
Increasing your veg intake, will help with hydration too. Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients and full of filling fibre that will help keep you and your health in top shape, keep hunger at bay, reduce cravings and increase your energy levels! Win win!
Get creative (no one likes soggy boiled Brussels that tastes like farts). Try something new, salads don't need to be bland or boring, roast up some veggies, add them to a soup or stir fry, sprinkle with dry spices or dip into a salsa or sauce. Swap out pasta for layered butternut squash or courgette. Shop for local and seasonal produce to keep the price in check.
Prioritise Protein For Breakfast!
Protein is the number one macronutrient essential for repair and recovery of every single cell in our bodies. If we think of protein like the maintenance man to a building or house, keeping everything in good running order and away from disrepair.
Meat, fish, eggs and plant based options like Tempeh, Edamame and dark leafy greens are the most protein dense sources. These foods help to keep nails and hair healthy, improve skin tone, build lean muscle and keep us feeling fuller for longer. Whilst eggs are considered a great breakfast staple, it might not be what you fancy everyday. Variety is the spice of life (and all that) if you would like more ideas for higher protein breakfasts, check out this separate blog article. By making protein a priority for breakfast you're less likely to crash mid-morning or spend your day chasing snacks, if you're in a calorie deficit trying to lose fat, hitting your protein macros is key to sustaining a healthy metabolism and maintaining muscle mass.
Take Your Time To Eat!
It's not just about what we eat, it's how we eat it. Eating slowly allows your digestive system to catch up and identify you are eating and helps to trigger satiety.
Do you set aside time to chew and slowly enjoy your meals (Did I just hear you laugh)? Of course not, most of the time we're on the run aren't we, by the time we actually get to sit down and eat (that's if we're sitting down) it's often a race to get the food down as quick as possible before jumping into the next task. Leaving no time for our food to be digested properly, increasing gut stress and actually not even enjoying what we've eaten. Then not long after, the sugar craving appears, that need to chase something sweet. Maybe if you were to choose just one thing this year it would be to eat more slowly, enjoy your meals and eat until you are satisfied and not stuffed or rushed. Pop your electronics away, make meal times for family or friends or set a time for yourself in the day that prioritises time for you to eat without the rush.
Move a little More!
Walking is one of the most under estimated ways to improve your health. Just 20 minutes of walking a day can improve your health, including increasing cardio fitness, improving posture, balance, stronger bones, increasing muscle strength and reducing your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and it helps to decrease body fat. Walking is free and whilst it might be cold outside, spending 15 - 20 minutes to run the vacuum round, get green fingers in the garden or clean out a cupboard. Increasing your daily base activity levels will help boost a healthier immune system and leave you with that feel good feeling! Start with a realistic goal of 15 minutes a day, track your activity with a watch or your phone and week by week add a few minutes more, see how far you can increase it in the next 6 months. Want to take it one step further? Read more on how to stay active at home here.
Make a Date with Your Bed!
No harm in revisiting point 1, here. Creating a relaxing environment, a room and bed that you look forward to sleeping in, is going to give you a better nights sleep. Sleeping better and aiming for a good 7-8 hours is going to make you feel fresher, more energised, more likely to want to move and here's the best bit.... Keep your hunger hormones in check! How hungry we are is dictated by hormones as well as what we eat and how much we move. By getting a good nights sleep you can swerve those mid afternoon snack attacks when tiredness kicks in! Set a goal and a night-time routine, avoid eating in the hour before you sleep, take a relaxing soak in an epsom salt bath, switch off your electronics and snuggle down in a cosy bed with an inviting environment that you want to be in.
If you would like help and support this year with your fitness goals or to be part of my Nutrition Coaching group. You can click this link to apply. Places are limited to ensure quality of coaching.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, Nat x