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Get Back on Track With Your Health and Wellness Plan

Picking Vegetables

Congratulations! You’ve survived another holiday season with all its chaos, cookies, and candy canes. Did you stress yourself out this year? Did you catch a cold or flu bug that is floating around? Did you eat way too much fudge – again?

It’s easy to get off track with your health and wellness during the long – and temptation-filled – holiday season. With plenty of sugar to go around, late nights with friends and family, and way too much to do, it’s no wonder that your jogging habit or drawer full of leafy green vegetables have gone by the wayside.

But no more excuses! It’s a new year and that means that it’s time to get back on track. Here are some great ideas that will help you get back on track with your health and wellness plans for a stellar new year:

  1. Write down your reasons.

It can be a real drag to get yourself motivated after a busy holiday season. In order to start the new year right – or any new plan for your greater health – rethink why you are doing it. You know you “should” exercise more and eat right, but what is your real motivation? Write down your main reasons and motivators for getting fit. Is it a specific outfit? A trip you want to take in the spring? Being around for your grandchildren? Brainstorming a list of your main motivators can make it easier to stick with it when things get tough.

  1. Start drinking more water.

Overeating and under-exercising have probably left you a bit dehydrated. By upping your intake of water or calorie-free sparkling beverages, you can give your body the nourishment it needs. Dehydration can make you feel hungrier than you actually are, and plenty of water is necessary if you are going to be exercising.

  1. Stock your fridge the right way.

Eating right doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you have a fridge full of holiday leftovers. You need to plan ahead and figure out what you need to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for at least a week. Consider prepping some simple breakfast and lunch foods to store in the fridge, along with healthy snacks. When it’s easy to open the fridge and grab something healthy, instead of another tamale, it will be simpler to get back on track.

  1. Make meals in batches ahead of time.

Dinners, especially after the busy post-holiday season, can be a huge area of temptation. It’s far, far too easy to order a pizza or grab a pre-made meal after work throughout the month of January. Don’t fall into this trap! Spend a weekend morning shopping and preparing a few nights of weekday meals. Make a double batch of vegetable lasagna and freeze some, or brown a bunch of ground turkey that can be used for tacos or spaghetti. When dinner is healthy and already made, it’s a whole lot easier to stay on track.

  1. Try out at least two new recipes.

One of the hardest parts of eating well is making it exciting and new. The start of the year is a great time to expand your culinary repertoire and try out something full of veggies or low in fat. Trying out two new recipes isn’t as overwhelming as trying to come up with a new menu. Make it a point to try two new things each month and you’ll soon have a bevy of healthy recipes to choose from.

  1. Start small with exercise.

Unless you kept up your regular workout routine throughout the holiday season, you need to ease back into things. Not only is the gym packed this time of year, but your muscles are probably out of practice as well. Trying a short workout your first time out – even just five short minutes – can help you get back on track. Don’t overexert yourself in the first weeks after the holidays. Ease into it.

  1. Change your mindset.

It’s easy to beat yourself up for slipping during the holidays, but you aren’t going to be able to bounce back if your mind is full of blame games like “I’m so fat, why did I eat so much?” This type of thinking is sort of based in reality but doesn’t do you any good. Think about the positives to taking off the holidays. You gave your body time to rest, you rewarded yourself for a long year, and you celebrated. Nothing wrong with that! Replace your blame game mindset with something more positive like “Today I take one step closer in my journey toward better health.”