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6 Healthy Tips for Starting the New Year On Track!

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refrigerator with black boxes of food labeled veggies, pork, chicken cordon bleu, yogurt, cauliflower, sour cream from Gourmet Done Skinny

It’s that time of year again! You know New Year’s Resolutions and all of that.  A majority of people put losing weight at the top of their list, however, the goal often falls by the wayside by March. If this is one of your resolutions or goals for the year, let’s do something different.  Follow my healthy tips.  Instead of saying, “I will lose ___ pounds,” say to yourself, “I will make and maintain at least 6 new healthy habits this year.” (updated 2022, original post 2018)

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Here are my 6 healthy tips!

Picture of walking shoes from Gourmet Done Skinny
Get moving! It doesn’t have to be structured, just get out and walk!

1.  Get moving!

It doesn’t have to be working out at the gym even walking is great! If it’s hard for you to set aside at least 30 minutes of daily walking, don’t worry, just get it in gradually over the day – by parking the farthest away you can from your office, or the grocery store, walking 10 minutes at lunch, etc. Every little bit adds up. I suggest getting an Apple Watch (paid link) so you can keep track of your steps.

Attendance is key.  Don’t worry about how long you do the activity as long as you do it consistently, every day or 3 times a week, etc. Keep building on your time. 

Here’s an example:  Go to the gym, park your car, go in and say hi to the receptionist. Do this every day.  Doesn’t matter if you work out yet, but get yourself to the gym. Eventually you will start working out. If you go to the gym on January 1st, do a killer work-out for 3 hours when you haven’t done anything in years, limp home -are you really going to want to go back the next day? Probably not. Start slow, keep building the habit of going or doing.

2.  Make over your fridge, freezer and pantry immediately.

Don’t wait! No excuses. When you have the right things to eat, you will choose more wisely than when you don’t. Get rid of the junk. If you think, “Oh no, I don’t want to waste it!” Then say to yourself, “I can either waste it in the trash or waste it on my waist!” Which do you think will help you succeed at losing or maintaining your weight? Throw out the junk!

3.  Ready, Set, Sunday! The Power of Food Prep

People underestimate the power of food prep (paid link). It is so important. It saves you time, money and calories. My food prep method is very different from other methods. I’m not about the 5 black boxes filled with chicken, rice and broccoli. My method is about choices, flexibility and taste.

Here are a few tips:

Pick a day to prepare for the week.  I suggest Sundays, but whatever day works best for you. This is the day I clean out my refrigerator, decide what I need to buy for the week. I typically make 3 meals a week. I freeze and portion extras. On the other days, I just pull things out of my freezer, mix and match. This is all part of my Gourmet Done Skinny Method which you can find in my latest book – The Power of Food Prep! (It went #1 on Amazon this past year).

One of my tips – Be sure to buy your ingredients on a different day than when you cook. It’s too much to go to the store, come home, unpack everything and then cook.  So do your shopping on a different day.

Roasted vegetables in a pan from Gourmet Done Skinny
Throw whatever vegetables you have on hand in a large roasting pan (paid link). Add a few tablespoons of oil, some balsamic or spice and roast in the oven.

On Sunday here’s what to do:

  1. Make a batch of Chipotle Egg Cups, store in freezer, you’ll have 24 quick easy, low point breakfasts ready to go when you need it. You only need to do this about every 3 weeks.
  2. Make a batch of Spicy Roasted Vegetables , Balsamic Roasted Vegetables or Roasted Indian Cauliflower Vegetable Medley. Store in labeled containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The labeled containers are important, when you open the fridge, you see the label and your brain thinks, “Oh, yeah, I can eat that.” Vegetables make quick easy snacks and side dishes.
  3. Make a batch of healthy salad dressing. I always make one of these: my Skinny Delicious Blue Cheese Dressing, Healthy Creamy Parmesan Dressing, Healthy Garlic Ranch Dressing, or Jalapeño Cream.  Often I will make two of them, so I have choices. They are also great toppers for chicken, fish or vegetables. If you have something that you love, you’re more apt to eat a salad for lunch or dinner.
  4. Pick 3 meals to make for the week. Choose the days you will make them, then on the other days, pull something out of your freezer. I like to use my “Multiply It Method” (found in my book The Power of Food Prep)  It can be super easy, Instant Pot or crock pot, something you portion out and put in the freezer.

Once you get in the habit of prepping, you’ll realize how much easier your week is.  And you don’t have to make egg cups every week, just every once in a while.

Need extra help in food prepping? Sign up for my Food Prep for Foodies Membership. Opening later this month! Get on the waitlist now so you’ll know when it’s all happening!

4. Make sure you get enough water!

Blue water bottle with measuring guide on lid
Make sure you get enough water! Often times you think you are hungry, but you are really thirsty.

I can’t tell you how much this can really help you maintain and/or lose weight.  Before you eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Often times we are thirsty when we think we are hungry. Make sure you get your water intake in daily. Ask your doctor what amount is right for you. Keep track, it’s easy to lose count. I like to use this water bottle (paid link)Thermos Nissan Intak Hydration Water Bottle with Meter, Blue because it has a meter on it. You just turn the number when you refill the bottle. Makes keeping track super easy!

5.  Only eat when you are hungry. Practice being mindful and eating slow

Don’t eat if you aren’t hungry. Wait until your body is ready. Be present when you eat your food. That means really enjoy every bite. Pay attention to what you’re eating. If you eat in front of the t.v. or computer, many times you finish your food without even realizing it.

Eat super slow. Take small bites, enjoy conversation, don’t inhale your food.

Stop eating before you’re completely full. This can be very hard to do but with practice it gets easier.  Often times if I think I want more, I set a timer for 15-20 minutes, if I’m still hungry after that, then I will have a bit more. Most of the time when the timer goes off, I’ve forgotten all about eating.

6.  Weigh yourself occasionally! Don’t be tied to the scale.

You don’t have to do it daily and for most people probably not a good idea, but do it occasionally. It really helps keep you focused.  Remember it’s just data, but it gives you an idea of where you are and how you are doing. It also lets you see the general trend of things. Don’t let it control your life but use it to “check in,” with yourself. If you avoid the scale, you never really, “know,” where you are. Be sure to weigh yourself at the same time every day, otherwise you’ll have huge fluctuations.

Nokia scale, with phone ap from Gourmet Done Skinny
I really like this scale because it keeps track of your data.

You don’t have to have a fancy scale, however I do like
Withings / Nokia | Body+ – Smart Body Composition Wi-Fi Digital Scale with smartphone app, Black because it keeps track of my weight on the ap so I don’t have to write it down. I can look back over months and years and see the general trend.

Remember, if you need more tips, check out my book – The Power of Food Prep or my membership – Food Prep for Foodies!

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