The New Year’s diet messaging can be very alluring. I get it. I used to fall victim to it, too.
But, knowledge is power!
It’s not that you can’t diet. It’s okay to want to eat healthier and/or lose weight. There is no fault in having those goals. But, what I want my clients to understand is that dieting doesn’t work and restriction harms your body more in the long run, through slowing down metabolism.
But, just because you’re not purposely setting out to change your body doesn’t mean you aren’t caring about your health.
Here are some of my favorite non diet resolution ideas to help improve overall health and wellbeing, and even performance.
Drink More Water
Hydration helps with so much, including:
- metabolism and optimal GI function
- normalize electrolyte levels
- normalizing body temperature
- maximizing physical performance
- optimal cognitive function
- improve energy and more
Get More Sleep
Oh, the importance of sleep! While I often focus on sleep adequacy during training and recovery cycles, it’s just important for daily life and function.
While we each do function best on different levels of sleep, generally the recommended daily allotment is at least 7 hours per night.
Inadequate sleep will alter our hunger hormones and affect hunger and fullness levels, cravings, and can also increase the risk of injury, among other things.
We actually interviewed sleep expert and RD, Amy Bender, on the Nail your Nutrition podcast. There’s some great nuggets in here!
Try Some Sort of Meal Planning or Prep
Meal Prep does not need to be all or nothing by any means! Meal prepping and planning helps reduce food waste and can help save you money in the long run.
These subscription services really helped post-baby when we had no time or energy to cook, but also during heavy training cycles, chaotic weeks or even times when I was single parenting!
If you’re new to meal planning, here are some of my favorite resources.
- Meal Prep Tips for Athletes
- Freezer Meal Ideas
- 51 Healthy Recipes for Athletes
- Intuitive Eating and Meal Prep Together
Eat More Fiber
Most of the sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – foods that have several nutrient benefits.
Many clients come to me with goals of “eating healthier,” without really knowing or understanding what the actually means. It can be a big, vague goal.
So, we work to be more specific. Including more fiber is a more specific goal that would fall under eating healthier. Fiber also offers prebiotics, which help nourish probiotics in your body.
There is still an abundance of research to come on the impact of our microbiome on overall health, but eating a variety of fiber rich foods will certainly help!
Plus, fiber rich fruits and veggies also have a slew of antioxidants that can improve performance and affect overall well being.
For starters, try these recipes:
You can also work to add more fermented foods into your diet to increase your probiotic intake. Some options include kefir, yogurt, miso, natto, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and kombucha.
Get Rid Of The Food Rules
Food rules aren’t benefitting ANY of us. If you were truly honest with yourself, could you honestly admit that food rules have made your life better in any way?
Have they made you feel more “in control” or “out of control” of your food choices?
Have they contributed to more or less stress around food?
Spend More Time Standing
While it’s a life long dream of mine to get one of these treadmill desks, in the meantime, I just use a laptop stand (it’s on deal currently). An even simpler answer is to just plop your laptop on a stack of books.
Spread Protein Out Throughout the Day
While many of us may know to eat protein after a workout, you should also be including protein in your other meals and snacks consistently.
Most people save protein for dinner, when in reality, it needs to be evenly spaced throughout the day!
Try an asparagus mushroom quiche or a skillet breakfast scramble for breakfast, roasted chickpea sandwiches or a broccoli kale salad with salmon for lunch, and a quick chicken sausage sheet pan for dinner.
This is also where meal planning can help if you can mentally plan out these eating occasions and recipes/snacks ahead of time.
This is just a start for suggestions.