7 Tips To Improve Your Diet And Boost Your Fitness

editor | Nutrition | , , ,

New Year’s resolutions for most usually include a resolve to lose weight and get fit. Well that’s great but how do we achieve the right balance? How can an exercise program and a good diet support each other to achieve the desired outcome and attain our New Year’s resolution?

Here are seven top tips to help keep you on track with a healthy diet and exercise plan;

  1. Don’t skip breakfast and remember to include a source of protein

Protein is very beneficial at breakfast time as it assists with keeping hunger at bay during the morning and can help carry you through till lunchtime without indulging in unhealthy snacking and help you to stick with your healthy eating plans. If you exercise in the mornings there’s a double bonus as protein can assist with muscle recovery and rebuilding. So think about including yoghurt with your cereal, eggs, fish, even homemade baked beans it a good choice.

  1. Don’t skip meals

It is so important not to skip meals, especially breakfast. You can’t maintain a fitness program and positive lifestyle without enough nutritious fuel to keep your body going and maintain a sufficient energy level to get you through your day. As a guide try to stick to three main meals with a couple of small snack between meal times to keep you blood sugar levels even and your body functioning at its best to get it through the day.

  1. Make your meals count as quality fuel for your body

So what does that mean? It means to think about when you do you exercise and how what you eat at the next mean can have the most benefit in helping your body to recover from physical exertion and how to maximise the energy intake. So that is why if possible it is a really good idea to consume protein and quality carbohydrates within 30 minutes of completing your exercise routine. Quality carbs such as natural muesli and yoghurt for breakfast is a good combination and chicken, vegetables with brown rice for dinner is another good combination to compliment your exercise.

  1. Make your lunch for work, don’t buy takeaway

Preparing your lunch the night before work can really help you to stick to your health and fitness plans as it will help to eliminate diet distractions and indiscretions.  You could cook extra at the evening meal and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. You could set a day a side each week or month to have a bit of a ‘cook-off’ and make some healthy meals in bulk that you could set aside portions for lunchtimes and keep in the freezer when you need it.

  1. Support your local fresh food markets and local farmers markets

Farmers markets and such have really come into their own again with a raised community awareness about achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle. There is also more of an interest in homes and communities today to desire ‘fresh is best’ when it comes to buying perishable grocery items. So it’s a great opportunity to get out and support the local farmers market if you have one in your area and learn more about what’s best in season and enjoy fresh produce at its best.

It’s also a great opportunity to get involved in a community garden, or even start one yourself with your neighbours to share a common plot of land to grow and harvest fresh produce to trade with the other gardeners sharing the plot.When you are faced with a fridge of fresh produce, it makes it so much easier to make healthy food choices and prepare nutritious meals and more convenient to grabbing a piece of fresh fruit instead of processed bars when you are on the run.

  1. Clean your kitchen pantry

When you get home from a long day at work and you are feeling tired it’s oh-so-easy to reach for the quick kilojoule laden snack (that packet of crisps, chocolate, candy) to get that energy boost when you need it most. So help yourself, clean out that cupboard and get rid of the junk food and keep quality nutritious foods on hand such as fresh fruit in the fridge, low-fat dairy products, nuts and wholemeal crackers to help you meet those hunger pangs.

If you do feel the need to keep a treat or two, don’t deprive yourself but buy quality or make your own and stick to the 80/20 rule. Meaning 80% of the time you eat nutritious food and 20% of your consumption can be special treats from time to time.

  1. What are you drinking?

To maintain your weight and fitness plans you need to look at the beverages you drink and analysis what in them.  The hidden kilojoules that sabotage your diet efforts will be the excess of sugar found in most canned and bottled soft drinks and the full fat milk and extra cream in your coffee and hot chocolate.

Try and consume most of your beverages as water. It’s sugar free, the ultimate thirst quencher and will keep your body well hydrated. Try to stay away from sugar laden drinks and sweetening your beverages with fresh fruit blended into soda or mineral water instead and remember to stick to the low fat milk and dairy options when you have your morning coffee.

6 Things to Do When You First Wake Up

editor | Health | , ,

Although I love mornings, I’m not a morning person. Staying up late after all the business from the day is much more appealing to me. I still tend to stay up late, but the reality of mom life is that not waking up until 8am feels really late. I’m working on my morning routine so I can feel more energized, have better skin and be ready to take on the day. I’ve realized that when I conquer the morning, even if I have to get up at 5am to fit in everything I want to do, the day runs smoother. I find myself less tired and happier.

Drink water

When your body is dehydrated you may find yourself feeling sluggish. For me, I tend to jump up in the morning and start making breakfast for the family only to realize that I’ve cooked, cleaned and found it almost noon without even taking a sip. Drinking water when you wake up refreshes you and gives your body that much needed boost after a long night’s sleep. I sleep with a full water bottle on my night stand because I tend to get thirsty throughout the night. This makes it easy to wake up and start drinking water in the morning also.

Get Some Fresh Air

Open a window, take a step outside, maybe even drink your coffee on the patio. Fresh air in the morning can do wonders for your day. If you enjoy exercise in the morning, change up your scenery and try some outdoor activities. There’s a place here in town that does rooftop early morning yoga. The sunrise, crisp air and doing something good for your body- what’s not to love!

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Sometimes the boost you need in the morning comes in the form of a hearty breakfast. Getting your body the fuel it needs to start the day is important, but can sometimes feel like a hassle rather than essential.  I love fresh fruit and a veggie filled omelette in the mornings or Simple Strawberry Overnight Oats. If you don’t want to cook when you get up in the morning, there are lots of recipes that allow for prep the night before so you’re ready to go in the morning. Try experimenting with your favorite meals and see how you can prepare them the night before.

Get Up Before You Have To

My husband always tells me to get up early than I actually have to, and I usually grumble and go back to sleep, but he’s right. I feel a lot better when I have a little quiet time to myself in the morning. Usually I wake up when my son starts making noise via the baby monitor and then it’s go go go for the rest of the day. When I wake up earlier, grab some coffee and mentally prepare for the day I usually feel a lot better.

Do Something Enjoyable

Find time in the morning for one of your hobbies. It can be something simple such as catching up on the news or journaling. When the demands of the week are overwhelming, knowing that you have already set a little time aside to center yourself each day can makes a world of difference.

Prepare the Night Before

When I was a kid my mom always made us set out our clothes for school the night before. Though I disliked doing this, it definitely saved time in the morning. Try to find ways to save time in the morning by preparing the night before. Sometimes I set my workout clothes and accessories out the night before when I know I’m going to be extra tired, and make a bowl of overnight oats so when I wake up I can step right into my day. Tidying up the night before can also help your morning routine also. Waking up to a tidy house makes it easier start new and get ahead on the day’s activities.

What’s a must have in your morning routine?