With the holidays in the rearview mirror, there’s no better time to talk about healthy living. Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds or run a little faster this year, the simplest tweaks can make a big difference. We asked 8 Registered Dietitians for their best healthy living hacks for 2019 and this is what they said:
1. Focus on the positive. “Try not to dwell on the negative. Instead, work towards having a positive mindset with practicing gratitude and mindfulness. Write down three things you are thankful for every day.” – Jeanette Kimszal, RDN, NLC.
2. Eat colorfully. “Think in color. Every time you grab a snack, make a meal, and order off a restaurant menu, include as many colors as possible. Deep orange butternut squash; ruby red strawberries; dark green kale; brown mushrooms. The more color, the more veggies you’ll end up choosing … and eating.“ – Liz Weiss, MS, RDN and host, Liz’s Healthy Table podcast
3. Plan one or two meals each week. “Have a plan. Planning your meals for the week can reduce your stress load and help you eat healthy meals consistently. Even preparing one or two meals a week can make such a difference in the week ahead.“ – Kristin Willard, RDN and owner, Bariatric Meal Prep.
4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. “Get your Zzzs. Lack of sleep can actually ‘trick’ your brain into thinking you did not consume adequate fuel [and contribute] to feelings of hunger.” – Suzanne Fisher, MS, RD, LDN and founder, Fisher Nutrition Systems.
5. Don’t dwell. Instead, look forward. “Ditch perfection. You don’t need to exercise every day or eat right all the time to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Focus on what you can do every day, no matter what has happened the day before.” – Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, and owner, Better Is The New Perfect.
6. Avoid getting overly hungry. “Plan snacks strategically in your day to prevent energy crashes and huge cravings. You will function better [during the] day and rarely experience uncontrollable cravings.” – Jenna Braddock RD, and blogger at Make Healthy Easy.
7. Drink plenty of water. Hydration is often not a priority, but it is absolutely key to having high energy levels throughout the day. To encourage more water intake, make infused spa water by dropping sliced cucumber, berries, citrus, herbs, or even ginger into your water. – Lindsey Pine, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT, Tasty Balance Nutrition
8. Seek support. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s help in the kitchen or getting something off of your to-do list, we (including myself!) have a tendency to try to do it all. That attitude usually leads to burnout or resentment. Asking for assistance could turn out to be a win-win situation where both sides benefit from the experience.” – Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table.