The holidays have come and gone, and if you’re like many people, you might have resolved to get back in shape and lose some weight.
What’s the best way to do so without punishing yourself? Here are eight tips for a healthy post-holiday diet and exercise routine.
1. Invest in Quality Food Storage
What’s sadder than tossing soggy strawberries before you get to savor the sweetness? Quality food storage containers may seem like a luxury if you’re on a budget, but they save you money in the long run by preserving what you buy at the store. If you have a bit extra, gadgets like vacuum sealers and dehydrators can help you keep garden goodies longer.
2. Learn to Meal-Prep
Fast food sings a sweet siren song when your day is long and you’re exhausted and famished. Meal prepping helps you stick to your resolution to ban junk.
It’s much more efficient to cook once per week and portion freezer meals that you can pop in the slow cooker when you get home. You’ll save money and time once you master the knack.
3. Ban the Bottle
You can’t do much worse than consuming alcohol when it comes to sucking down empty calories. What’s worse is your body prioritizes metabolizing this substance before the food you eat. Do you know how you crave a huge, fattening breakfast the night after overindulging? That’s partially because your body didn’t absorb enough vital nutrients while processing what you drank.
Excess alcohol consumption can also cause blood sugar woes. If you can’t abstain, stick to the recommended portions of one drink per day for women, two for men.
4. Make Your Plate a Clock
Many Americans fail to get their recommended intake of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. While they may consume sufficient calories, missing out on vital antioxidants and phytonutrients can adversely affect health.
One simple solution is to treat your plate as a clock. When you sit down to a meal, fill half of it with fresh or steamed vegetables like salad greens, peas and carrots.
5. Experiment With Alternative Flour
White flour might lurk behind the soaring diabetes rate in many parts of the developed world. Manufacturing this substance creates a chemical byproduct called alloxan that scientists use to induce diabetes in laboratory animals. This stuff also absorbs quickly into your bloodstream, causing your glucose levels to spike. The combination is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, alternatives exist for breading and baked goods that play a substantial role in many diets. Chickpea and almond flour offer vegan protein that keeps you fuller for far longer than the white stuff. Coconut flour lends an extra touch of sweetness to many baked goods.
6. Consider an E-Bike
E-bikes combine two benefits — they help you reduce your carbon footprint while increasing your exercise quotient. If you live within a reasonable distance of your workplace, one of these devices could get you a workout while you commute.
You still burn calories even when you engage pedal assist. However, the boost from the electric motor means you won’t arrive at your cubicle all sweaty.
7. Make a Gym Date
People who work out with a partner tend to stick to their programs better than those who go it solo. It isn’t hard to see why. It’s one thing to cave to a Netflix binge when you’re alone, but most people would feel guilty if they knew they left their BFF waiting at the ellipticals.
If you have a friend who is similarly resolved to getting healthy, combine your resolutions. Your post-holiday diet and exercise routine will go more smoothly with support.
8. Begin Your Day With Movement
The first few waking minutes of your day set the tone for the next 24 hours. Why not make them active?
You don’t have to bounce directly from bed into your running shoes. Take a few minutes to perform some yoga while still on your mattress. As you breathe, visualize how you want the day ahead to go.
Get Healthy After the Holidays
If you have resolved to get back to a healthy diet and exercise routine post-holiday, you don’t even have to embark on a fad diet or spend hours doing HIIT. The eight tips above will help you make self-improvement effortless in 2022.