I know a lot of people resolve to eat better and lose weight in the New Year.
As someone who has definitive rules about not running unless I am being chased, I am probably not the person to give workout advice. However, I can help with the eating better part.
Really eating healthy comes down to some basic tenants. High protein, clean carbs (e.g. whole grains versus anything with enriched white flour), and healthy fats (e.g. avocado vs. whatever is in mayonnaise).
I’m also a big believer in the 85/15 rule. Meaning, try to eat clean and healthy 85% of the time and let yourself indulge 15%. This makes eating healthy more sustainable and doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. Want cake? Eat cake, but eat a slice not half the cake.
Another tip is meal planning. Listen, I’m not saying you need to spend your Sunday cooking all day and portioning out meals. That is a great way to stay on track, but again, I am all about sustainability. What I mean is sitting down and making a physical game plan of what you are going to eat throughout the week. There are a lot of great apps out there for this, but I really prefer an old-fashioned pen and paper. I normally only plan out dinners, but here is how I do this:
I sit down on Sunday with my recipe binder, a tablet and my laptop.
First I hit up the grocery store’s website to see the flyer and see what is on sale. Then I start to match up recipes and sales. I also hit up a couple of coupon sites to save a little more money. Erik is probably tired of how often I mutter, “Coupons and deals, coupons and deals,” in response to his questions about why I bought eight packs of ready rice or four packages of paper towels.
Once I have my dinner plan for the week, the recipes and/or list goes on the fridge. This way we know what we are having each night and it also serves as a reminder in case I need to take something out of the freezer the night before for the next day’s dinner.
Then it is just a matter of finishing out the odds and ends on my list, gathering up my coupons and hitting the store.
Bonus grocery store tip for saving money and calories—I sort my list by department: produce, deli, meat, dairy, frozen and the stuff in the middle. I buy what is on my list. I buy only what is on my list. This keeps random snacks from ‘jumping’ into my cart. See, money and calories.
This planning process may take a bit of time, but it is a big help to your waistline and budget in the long run. There is no easier way to get caught up in a bad eating habit than getting home after a long day and having the, “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?” debate. In my house, this almost always ends with some sort of delivery or fast food run. Planning ahead not only keeps your diet healthier, but it also saves quite a bit of money—especially if you have a bigger family.
At the end of the day lean meat, fresh veggies, healthy grains and a bit of planning are all you really need to get started on your way to a healthier you this year.