5 Easy Ways to Look (And Feel!) Your Best This Year
1. Feel Your Best
Forget joining a gym or doing a cleanse. Expert nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, reveals her low-effort ways to get back on track.
2. Start Now!
Before you set hard-to-reach goals, put your body back on track with a "clean" diet. "Cut out the junky, processed foods today," says Bauer. "Build your meals and snacks around healthy, whole foods like vegetables and fruits, lean proteins (skinless poultry, seafood, lean meat, soy foods, beans, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds), and whole grains. You can start by saying no to "dirty" foods, such as cupcakes, chicken parm, and chips.
3. Stack the Workout Deck
Your workout length and intensity should match your current fitness level and stamina. "If the workouts are so challenging and vigorous you dread them, you might give up," says Bauer. "It’s better to start off slow and gradually make your work-outs longer or more intense as your fitness level improves." There might be more time for working out in your schedule than you think. "You don’t have to commit to 30 continuous minutes," says Bauer. "Break it up into 10 minute chunks—10 minutes of walking in the morning, 10 minutes on your lunch break, and 10 minutes after dinner."
Start Today! Slim down with Bauer's new workout DVD!
4. Create Doable Food Goals
"I highly recommend setting short term food goals to help people stay on track and build up a sense of accomplishment," says Bauer. "If you’re trying to eat healthier, your goal might be to cook dinner at home (rather than eating at restaurants or getting takeout) four out of five nights this week."
More! Get Recipe Ideas in Joy Bauer's Slim and Scrumptious Cookbook
5. Shop Smart
While fresh produce and lean meats can be costly, you can definitely still eat well on a budget with a few of Joy's strategies:
*Buy fresh produce that's in season-they're the items likely to be on sale or at the best price. (Winter = Citrus, Spring = Asparagus, Summer = Blueberries, Fall = Apples).
*Stock up on pantry items with a long shelf life when they?re on sale like canned beans, whole grain pasta, frozen vegetables, and cereals.
*Don't be tricked into buying expensive health foods with fancy added ingredients like green tea extracts, exotic fruits (pomegranate, acai, and goji berry), omega-3s, added fiber, etc. For most of these products, the health benefits of the added ingredients have not even been studied, let alone proven.
More! 7 Ways To Be Healthier Now
6. "Friend" Someone
Online is a great place to get help. Sites like Bauer's (JoyBauer.com) allow you to create a profile to get expert tips, track your progress and communicate with other people. "Having a great support system is critical for results," says Bauer. A blog or Facebook group can double as a progress log and a place to share challenges and successes.