This time of year, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of making New Year's resolutions. Here are five super-easy resolutions to make that will help you start 2015 off right.
1. Drink water.
You probably saw this one coming. We all know that drinking enough water is crucial to the health of all the systems in the body ... but sometimes it's easier said than done. Every day, aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. (If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 oz of water.)
If you struggle to reach this amount, measure how many ounces are in your favorite water bottle or cup and take note of how many times you should be refilling it each day.
2. Prepare more meals at home.
When you prepare meals at home, you know exactly what goes into your food and you can make healthier choices. Take a few minutes on Sunday to write out a menu for the week. Plan ahead with groceries so you can pack lunches for work or school.
Prepare as much as you can ahead of time for dinner (pre-wash and chop veggies, etc.) so you don't stress about what to eat when you get home in the evening.
3. Cut back on refined sugar.
Love cookies, candies and anything sugary? Avoid a sugar coma by replacing traditional treats with natural sweets. Once you begin to wean your body off refined sugar, you'll notice that naturally sweet fruits and vegetables will begin to taste even sweeter.
Fresh and dried fruits make a great substitute mid-afternoon when your sugar craving hits. For coffee, tea or baking, try substituting maple or brown rice syrup for sugar.
4. Add color to your plate.
You've probably heard the phrase "count colors, not calories" when it comes to healthy eating.
Different colored fruits and vegetables contain various vitamins and nutrients, so when we fill our plate with a rainbow we're getting a diverse range of the good stuff. Plus, visually appealing food always tastes better!
5. Don't feel guilty about indulging and don't let it throw you off track.
We all have times where we want to indulge a little, and that's totally OK! Feeling deprived is never fun, so don't miss out on the cake you're eyeing at friend's birthday party or skip the champagne toast because you're worried about following a 100% perfect diet.
Guilty feelings about food tend to lead to less-than-amazing food decision making. Enjoy your piece of cake with absolutely no regret, then make your next meal deliciously colorful and nutritious.