By: Dr. Keara Taylor
The new year brings with it great intentions of sticking to our resolutions of losing weight, getting back into exercise, cutting out sugar, and the list goes on. While the practice of thinking about what we want to change in our life and the desire to feel better and healthier in our bodies is great, research shows that most resolutions are abandoned by the time February or March rolls around. Why? Often we take extreme action, which turns out is not very sustainable. If weight loss is your goal, or even if it isn’t and you just desire to feel more energized and focused, the following daily habits will help support you to feel better than ever in 2019.
- Instead of focusing so much on what you shouldn’t eat, focus on adding more vegetables to your plate! Aim for at least half of your plate at lunch and dinner to be vegetables and try and incorporate at least three colours at each meal. Great examples to include are roasted broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, green beans, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
- Eat to balance your blood sugar. Insulin is one of our most important hunger and metabolism hormones, so we want to eat in a way that supports its action. Including good quality protein, fat and lots of fiber at each meal will help to support balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day.
- Drink more water. Hydration is incredibly important for optimal brain and cellular function. We can often confuse thirst for hunger and dehydration can lead to fatigue and brain fog. Go to bed with a large glass of water on your nightstand so it is the first thing you see in the morning. Herbal teas are a great thing to add in during the winter months and peppermint, chamomile and ginger teas are also great for improving digestion and reducing inflammation.
- Move more! I like to think about exercise and movement as two different activities to plan for during your week. Exercise is ideally 30 minutes 3-4 times a week and includes resistance training, cardio activities such as HIIT training, running, attending a spin class or other exercise classes. Movement, on the other hand, is even more important, and something that you should incorporate into your day, every day. Aim for 8,000-10,000 steps per day. Take a morning walk before you go to work, after you eat your lunch, or after dinner with your family!
Starting small and incorporating one change at a time until it becomes a habit is the best way to experience lasting results. Begin with one item on this list, and once you are doing it consistently, add in the next thing. Not only will this reduce the overwhelming feelings brought on by the New Year, it will ensure that you see improvements in your health, energy and vitality in 2019!