Ah January, when the gym is packed and the line at the salad bar is longer than usual. So many people set goals to be healthier and fitter for the new year, but according to US News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. The problem, in my opinion, is that their resolutions are not practical.
Cleaning up your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. The best resolutions, when it comes to your health, are simple, easy to adhere to, and doesn’t make you feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.
Let’s discuss 5 practical clean eating habits to incorporate into your life during 2019!
1.) Drink More Water
A large majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Did you know our bodies can go up to two weeks without food, but no more than 24 hours without water? Water is essential to our bodily functions. Dehydration symptoms are almost identical to hunger symptoms. So, if you are dehydrated, you are more likely to make poor food choices (think salty junk food). Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water as a minimum.
2.) Cut Out Added Sugar
Studies have proven that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. The more sugar you have, the more you want. You’d be surprised what products have added sugars: bread, crackers, yogurt… and that Pumpkin Spice Latte you love from Starbucks? That has more than your recommended intake of sugar for AN ENTIRE DAY. The American Heart Association recommends 37 grams of sugar for men and 25 grams of sugar for women as the maximum. Read the nutrition facts on anything packaged and make sure there is no added sugars. I recommend cutting out sugar completely. If you want something sweetened, buy it plain, and sweeten it yourself with honey, maple syrup, or stevia.
3.) Eat Something Green at Every Meal
Green, leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and other greens have so many vitamins and minerals that help balance/regulate hormones, encourage a good night’s sleep, increase energy during the day, and more. The easiest way to ensure you meet your vegetable requirements for the day is to simply make a habit of eating something green at every meal. Not only does it make your food more nutritious, but it adds color to your plate and studies show that colorful, aesthetic food tastes better!
4.) Eat Plant Based as Much as Possible
You may have heard the quote,
“If it comes FROM a plant, eat it. If it was made IN a plant, don’t.”
Make sure most of your food is plant-based. People obsess over macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs), and while those are important, the more important thing is the quality of those macronutrients. You don’t have to obsessively count calories when you are eating plant-based. It’s really hard to overeat on broccoli! Aim for lean proteins that come from sustainable sources (pastured livestock/poultry and wild-caught fish), healthy, plant-based fats, and plant-based carbohydrates (like quinoa and sweet potatoes).
5.) Follow the 80/20 Rule
Okay, so let’s say you want that sugary muffin at Starbucks, or your coworker brings Chick-Fil-A chicken minis for breakfast on a Friday. Don’t torture yourself by watching everyone else enjoy them while your stomach is growling! That just leads to an unhealthy mindset about food, and often leads to binging later. Have a chicken mini or two, and make sure to get your greens in at lunch. Around 80% of what you eat should be clean, plant-based, pasture raised, etc. Give yourself that 20% to enjoy food, especially on social occasions. Enjoy your life during that 20% while knowing that, most of the time, you are on track with your health goals.
Hope you all enjoyed this week’s guest blog post! I highly encourage you to subscribe to Holistic in Houston and give her a follow on Instagram! You WILL learn something valuable and better yourself in 2019 by doing so.
Lastly, if you’ve missed the previous week’s relationship post, click here! As always, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”
Book of the Month: “As You Think” by James Allen