4 Easy Ways to Be Healthier This New Year

4 Easy Ways to Stay Healthier This New Year | Living the Gray Life - A college fitness and lifestyle blog

It’s that time of year where people are making all their New Year’s resolutions about being healthier, improving their life, getting in shape, eating better, etc. The gyms are packed with bright-eyed newbie gym-goers, and everyone is so excited to make this their year to become their best self.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in full support of people developing healthier habits and feeling amazing about themselves

So that’s why I’m writing this. I want YOU to actually stick to those New Year’s goals and make 2018 your best year yet! Here are 4 easy ways to be healthier this year.

1. Carry a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE

Drinking water is probably the easiest way to start on your health journey this year.

All of my friends make fun of the fact that I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go, but you know what? Who’s the one who staying hydrated while everyone is dying of thirst during our long Target adventures?

I know it can be hard to transition from drinking sugary beverages (sodas, sweet tea, etc) to drinking plain water. In fact, I even get bored with the taste of water from time to time. That’s why I opt for adding in fresh fruits, using water flavoring drops, or even reaching for a sparkling water if I’m feeling fancy.

RELATED: 3 Simple Ways to Drink More Water

But, if you always have a water bottle with you, there’s really no excuse for you to be drinking sodas and sweet tea.

2. Always have a healthy snack in your bag

Do you see a trend here? Keeping healthy things like water and snacks with you all the time will keep you from grabbing a bag of chips at the checkout line or getting that slice of pumpkin bread when you’re at Starbucks.

Some easy snack ideas are:

  • Fresh whole fruit like apples or a banana
  • A ziplock with one serving of nuts
  • Granola bar (the one’s without a lot of sugars)
  • Yogurt, sliced veggies, or hummus if you have access to a fridge or lunch box

Here’s the scenario: It’s 3 PM, you’re about to head to class, and you last ate at 11:30 AM. The mid-afternoon hunger is in full force and you have just enough time to run to the campus coffee shop to grab a coffee and a snack. You get to the coffee shop, order your usual vanilla latte and a chocolate croissant, and you’re on your way. You devour the croissant and latte as you’re speed walking back to your classroom. Fast forward 1.5 hours. It’s now 4:30 PM and you’re starving once again so you grab Chick-fil-a on your way home.

OR

Here’s the other scenario: It’s 3 PM, you’re about to head to class, and you last ate at 11:30 AM. The mid-afternoon hunger is in full force and you have just enough time to run to the campus coffee shop to grab a coffee and a snack. But, you have a lightbulb-over-the-head moment and remember you packed an RX bar and a sliced apple in your bag earlier that day. You head to class, sit down, eat your snack, and have enough time to finish up the last part of your paper that’s due tomorrow. Fast forward 1.5 hours. It’s now 4:30 PM and you’re still full from your snack you ate earlier. You hit up the grocery store to pick up chicken and vegetables to have for dinner later that night.

RELATED: Protein Bars: The Breakdown

Doesn’t that second option sound so much more relaxed and better? And, that second scenario shows how one good decision (packing a healthy snack) can lead to another healthy decision later in the day (picking up chicken and veggies to eat for dinner).

3. Don’t make certain foods “off limits”

One of the biggest things I see people do when the New Year starts is completely restricting their diets. No gluten, no dairy, no doughnuts, no refined sugars, no this, no that. Sure that’s all great in the long run, but if you’re diving in at 100% and saying no to everything right off the bat, that’s a surefire way to fall off track.

Personally, I try to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I make healthy decisions and I let myself splurge the other 20% of the time.

Say yes to the occasional doughnut.

4. Give yourself a little treat every day

I eat dinner kinda early (think 5:30ish) because I’m a #grandma and that means I get hungry around 8 or 9 PM. I have a pretty big sweet tooth, and I can’t really go a single day without eating some sort of dessert or sweet or something.

I love cookies, brownies, ice cream, chocolate, popcorn, etc. Some of my favorite go-to post-dinner desserts that aren’t half bad for you are as follows:

  • Mini ice cream sandwiches
  • Trader Joe’s Tiny Ice Cream Cones
  • A square of dark chocolate
  • Popcorn

Fun fact: over the summer (and when I was in probably the best shape of my life), I ate ice cream almost every single night.

You CAN fit “junk” food into your diet. It’s just all about balance and moderation.

Here’s to actually achieving and sticking with your fitness goals for the year! What are some of your main goals for 2018? I’m trying to pull a 215 lb deadlift by December!

~abigail gray

  • I love these tips! It makes me feel like being healthy doesn’t have to be all that complicated, haha. I always carry a water bottle with me too! If I don’t have it I feel thirsty, haha.

    • Being healthy just takes a little bit of work! And I feel the same way if I don’t have my water bottle with me.

  • Such great tips and I’m definitely going to be trying to keep healthy snacks with me because I’m sooo guilty of always reaching for some chips

    • Girl it helps so much! Good luck this semester!

  • My Sprinkle of Prep

    Love these tips, and of course one of my new years resolutions is to work out more and get into better shape, this next few years will be the peak of my body shape and I want to be in the best shape possible. I love your suggestions about having a water bottle with you to all your classes, and I always carry a few cliff bars on the bottom of my bag in case I get hungry before a class starts or as you said your mid afternoon hunger. It’s so hard for me to resist a sugar coffee drink every so often, or a coffee a day in general. If you have any suggestions on how to start your day off with a good breakfast, something you could make in your apartment or take to class I would love to hear about it.

    xo,
    megan | MySprinkleofPrep.wordpress.com

    • I just might turn your healthy breakfast question into an entire blog post! But for me, I always like to have oatmeal and peanut butter in the mornings. I’ve also been known to eat it on my walk to class because #noshame LOL. I also love plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit and Nature Valley’s protein granola! Also thank you so much for all of your comments. They make my day 🙂