Happy healthy New Year! Here’s my top 10 tips on how to start eating healthier and make 2019 a year to remember!
Folks, Happy New Year and welcome to day 1 of 2019. Did you have a good one?
If you’re feeling a bit guilty because of overindulgence over the festive period it’s time to stop that right now and put the past behind you!
It’s the New Year and an exciting time. The time of fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s also an opportunity to recommit to your health and well-being.
With so much information out there, I thought I’d break down my top 10 tips on how you can start eating healthier this year.
These are the best tips that I followed myself when I changed my eating habits, lost 2 stones and changed my diet for good.
1 – Drink more water
Our bodies need water or other fluids (excluding alcohol!) to work properly and to avoid dehydration.
The NHS advises that we should drink about 1.2 litres of water or fluids per day. This helps us to maintain the balance of body fluids.
There are also numerous other benefits of drinking water.
Drinking water helps to keep skin looking good and it can also help to control the calories we consume.
When we’re drinking water, we’re not consuming higher calorie liquids like fruit juices and lattes!
2 – Choose healthy snacks
The healthiest snacks you can have are of course real foods, grown by nature.
It doesn’t matter how many calories a shop bought protein bar might have, nothing will ever beat the goodness of what nature gave us.
Swap those unnatural processed bars for fruits, nuts and seeds. Or better still make your own fruit and nut snack bars.
Many employers now offer fruit as free snacks. You should take advantage of those.
Not only are you getting the health benefits, but you’re saving yourself some cash too!
3 – Plan
Plan your meals.
When you plan your meals, you know exactly what you’re eating, when and where. This means you can track exactly what you’ve eaten. This is essential if you’re trying to control calories.
Check out my post on meal planning for the 80/20 food rule for more information on this.
Maybe sit down once a week, perhaps on a Sunday and prepare your menu for the week ahead.
4 – Exercise
Find 30 minutes a day to walk. Walk everywhere you can instead of getting a train or bus.
If you must take your car to work then park further away from your place of work. Always take the stairs. Get out at lunchtime for a walk after you’ve eaten your lunch.
Go out with your partner in the evening for a walk.
Take up swimming or check out some exercise routines on Youtube or buy a DVD.
Make sure you’re keeping active at all times.
A sedentary life means you’re in a higher risk group for heart attacks, strokes or even developing diabetes.
5 – Eat a balanced plate with all the food groups
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important in maintaining good health and our general overall wellbeing.
Start by watching your meal portion sizes. Eat a balanced plate of good healthy food at each mealtime.
Checkout my post on The Food Groups which clearly shows the recommended portion sizes from each of the five food groups for each plateful of food.
Make it a Healthy Happy New Year!
6 – Cook from scratch
Food manufacturers are being forced by the government to lower their products salt content.
Whilst this is good, there really is only one way to ensure you can control exactly what goes into each meal you eat.
Cook from scratch.
Its far healthier. Home cooked meals are full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals as well as being made from ingredients which are not processed in large factories.
Research has found that those who cook their meals from scratch tend to be happier and healthier. They eat less sugar and processed foods. This in turn leads to higher energy levels and improved mental health.
7 – Eat more fruit and vegetables
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables not only helps to reduce the risk of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer but can also help to reduce blood pressure too.
Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals which help you keep healthy and feel energised.
It’s not difficult to eat more fruit and vegetables.
All you need to do is include more of them on your plate. Have smaller portions of meat and potatoes and more fruit and vegetables.
8 - Take a packed lunch
When I began to make changes to my diet and lifestyle, one of the major changes I did was to stop buying sandwiches every lunch time.
Instead I took in a home-made soup.
Well, not only did I lose weight, but I also saved a lot of money. Which, for a Scottish person was a complete win-win situation!
Plus I found that my energy levels increased in the afternoon, avoiding the post lunch slump.
This could be one of the easiest changes you make this year and I’ve got you covered. Just check out the huge range of home-made soups here on Neil’s Healthy Meals.
9 – Choose healthier options when eating out
When you’re faced with a restaurant menu with lots of different tasty treats it can be so difficult to know what to choose, what’s healthy and what’s not.
Choose a starter and a main rather than a main then a dessert or share a dessert with your partner. Try to aim for a fruit or sorbet dessert, avoiding cheese and biscuits.
Steer clear from items that are deep fried, have creamy sauces of meats that still have their skin on.
Go for pulses, tomato based or vegetable based sauces. Take extra salad or vegetables rather than extra rice, potatoes or portions of chips.
10 – Treat yourself
When you’re trying to be healthy it doesn’t mean that you need to completely deprive yourself of your favourite treats.
This is why I chose the 80/20 rule for eating, and what my blog here is all about.
If you eat healthily during the week and have a regular exercise routine then you can afford to indulge in a little of what you fancy!
Remember you don’t have to cut out your favourite foods completely.
Just choose healthier options. Watch your portion sizes and focus on a more balance balanced diet overall. You can still enjoy food and be much healthier and happier.
Why not make the change to the 80/20 rule? Make it a Happy Healthy New Year.
Follow my blog and learn how my significant other half and I do it.
Subscribe below and receive a Free Simple Soups eCookbook!
This is the proven way to lose and then to maintain a healthy weight whilst forming a sustainable and healthy lifelong eating and exercise habit.
So Happy Healthy New Year!
Remember this is a plan for life, not the short term. Once you incorporate and get used to following the rule, you’ll find a balance that works. For always.
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Happy New Year Neil! My personal goal for 2019 is to eat healthier and also drop a few stones, so your tips are solid information. I'll be following you in the coming months for more of your healthy recipes.
Happy New Year to you too Ron. I hope you had a good one over there in Sweden!
I wish you all the best and I'm sure you'll find plenty of tasty healthy recipes here to help you with your goals for 2019! 🙂
I'm looking forward to seeing what tasty Swedish dishes you've got for us next.
Shashi at SavorySpin
Neil, I love all your points - I fall short on drinking the quantyof water I need, something I need to work on. But since going back to a 9-5 job, meal prepping has been a must - helps us eat healthier made from scratch foods as opposed to more processed stuff.
Happy New Year to you and lady Lynne- can’t wait to see all the healthy deliciousness that comes out of your kitchen this year!
I must admit that I do drink less water now that I work from home Shashi so drinking more water is also a priority on my list. Although I do drink more cups of tea, so I suppose that counts?
I still meal prep though. There's homemade soup for lunch and dinner is still made from scratch.
Excluding alcohol??? Dammit. Happy New Year!!!
Well.....maybe just a glass of wine now and then! 😉
Happy New Year to you too Mimi! 😀