10 Real Ways To Get Healthy In The New Year Without Eating Air
Celebrities, they’re just like us! They wake up at noon, they hand their kids off to a beautiful nanny, they run on a private beach in a bikini, and then they oil up their glistening six-pack and do some yoga next to an infinity pool at dusk. That’s what I do every day, don’t you?
What I’m getting at isâ€”New Year’s is the time when most people become unrealistic about their personal expectations. You may tape a picture of Giselle on your refrigerator and vow never to eat carbs again. You may mistakenly believe that the perfect body is supermodel-esque and contingent upon every blasted calorie you count on your new diet.
I’m not making a specific commentary on body type, whether you’re thick or thin. I’m just talking about setting unreasonable goals dubbed as “New Year’s Resolutions.” Tori Spelling totally gets meâ€”she was one of the few celebrities that readily admitted to starving herself to lose her baby weight by only “eating air.”
If you’ve ever made the lofty goal of losing a few pounds in the New Year, you know full well by now that an air-only diet just ain’t going to cut it come February 1. I’ve learned the hard way that starvation diets simply don’t work after battling an eating disorder for over a decade. I also work full-time as a health editor and would love to share some healthy gems with you for a balanced New Year that doesn’t involve total deprivation.
I’ll eat to that!
1.Â Â Â Do things the hard way.
I don’t think a healthy diet should be hard or unattainable, but sometimes good things come to those who wait. What I’m saying is, if you want to eat fresh and feel better about yourself, you may have to cut up some fruits and veggies instead of hitting the drive-thru after work. Perfect example: My husband and I are really into probiotics and make homemade fermented vegetables. (Well, he does all the grunt work.) They take a minimum of 5 days to ferment but are so worth the wait.
2.Â Â Â Get more vitamin D.
I don’t have much to say about an entire health regimen because I don’t have an official degree, but I do know thisâ€”vitamin D deficiency is becoming commonplace because so many of us lurk around like trolls indoors and slather on sunscreen when we do go outside (guilty!). I’ve been giving my toddler vitamin D drops to boost immunity and as a natural alternative to the flu shot. I know this doesn’t count as official research, but since we’ve been supplementing, he’s gotten far less sick less often. That’s a win in my book!
3.Â Â Â Track your food.
Long-term food tracking may not work for everyone, but it can help you to assess what you’re putting in your mouth if you just can’t get your weight under control. Many health experts recommend using a food journal to identify areas of temptation and grazing throughout the day. I like to use a calorie counting app on my phone to keep trackâ€”whatever floats your boat and fits your personality best.
4.Â Â Â Don’t eat shit.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you can work wonders in your diet by just avoiding really crappy foods. Before you dip your Twinkie into your 44 ounce Dr. Pepper, take a moment to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Don’t worryâ€”if you’re feeling deprived, there’s always a little room for indulgence each weekâ€¦
5.Â Â Â Remember your cheat meals.
If you do go on a diet or just try to eat healthier this year, don’t forget to TREAT YO SELF. I think the only way that I keep my sanity on a fairly healthy diet is by gorging one day of the week.
6.Â Â Â Do exercises that you like.
Exercise is always part of a healthy new year, but so many of us dread hitting the gym. This is pretty sage advice that you’ve probably heard 100 times, but do physical activity that you actually enjoy if you want your new plan to stick. At the very least, sign up for a yoga class or hit up a new hiking trail if your treadmill has become a glorified clothing rack.
7.Â Â Â Ask for help.
If you really, really hate healthy eating and exercise, there’s no shame in asking for help. Sometimes all you need is a little insight or motivationâ€”hire a personal trainer or join an online support group to meet like-minded friends.
8.Â Â Â Get your Zen on.
I have had many anxiety issues in the past, and just recently, I’ve become obsessed with meditating. I meditate every single night before bed for at least 10 minutes by listening to a podcast on my phone. For me, meditation has helped me sleep better; meditation has a long list of benefits for not only emotional health but conditions like allergies, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and more.
9.Â Â Â Improve your sleep hygiene.
It would be an understatement to say that I’m crazy about my sleep. I like my 8 hours if I want to even attempt to enjoy spending time with a baby and toddler all day long. The National Sleep Foundation backs me up by encouraging good sleep hygieneâ€”focus on regular sleep and wake patterns, avoid stimulants close to bed, exercise regularly, and stick to a comforting nighttime routine to wind down. Bonus: Adequate sleep can prevent weight gain.
10. Have one drink a day.
See? This list doesn’t totally suck! I love, love, love drinking, and I firmly believe it can complement a balanced lifestyle. You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to, but there have been a few interesting studies that support moderate drinking versus abstainingâ€”alcohol abstainers may have a higher risk of depression, and moderate drinkers may live the longest. Boo ya, see you in 50 years!
(photo:Â Getty Images)