November and December have flown by in a blissful, sugar-covered, chocolate-drizzled, cheese-coated haze. But now it’s time to reel it all in and start 2016 afresh. Drop those half-hearted “Healthy eating starts tomorrow” promises and jumpstart your new-year-new-you regimen with these three easy steps from the experts at Crunch Fitness.
Step 1: Shake off that winter cold. The winter months usually bring on seasonal colds. To boost his immune system, fitness manager Brandon Beatty loads up on vegetables and green juices. “My go-to green juice is kale or spinach [with] apple, parsley, ginger, lemon and romaine.” Master trainer Amelia DiDomenico has a favorite detox juice too: one lemon, beet, apple, cucumber, a small piece of ginger, two bunches of kale and a handful of parsley.
If you’re looking for a more powerful cold remedy, Beatty suggests a shot containing lemon, ginger, honey and cayenne pepper to cleanse the body. (Don’t worry, no juicer is required; places like Whole Foods offer bottled power shots.)
Step 2: Start your morning right. The importance of a good breakfast is repeated ad nauseam… And we’re about to stress the point yet again (sorry!), but breakfast really is that important.
A balanced meal of carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats will keep you satisfied and energized through lunchtime. To ensure a nutritionally well-rounded morning, follow Crunch personal trainer Jordan James’ meal plan: “Three egg whites, two pieces of whole wheat toast, half a grapefruit and one scoop of protein powder mixed with cold water.”
Other smart breakfast options include:
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Mix 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries with 1 teaspoon sugar. To assemble your parfait, layer strawberries over half-cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt and top with granola.
Peanut Butter Toast Top a piece of wholewheat toast with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, half a sliced banana and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Overnight Oats Combine half-cup milk, a third-cup rolled oats, and half a mashed banana in a mason jar. Let the oats sit in the fridge overnight. Come morning, top oatmeal with quarter-cup chopped nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Step 3: Think small. As well-intentioned as they are, vague fitness and health goals—“I want to get fit!”, “I want to eat healthy!”—are not exactly helpful. What qualifies as “being fit” or “eating healthy,” anyway? Loosely defined resolutions are overwhelming because there are no benchmarks to mark our progress or achievements.
To keep your sights focused on the end goal, break down your greater ambitions with short-term, actionable steps. For example, to reboot his workout after the holidays, Beatty zeroes in on a single goal for the first three months: “I will start strength training in January to prepare for an Olympic weightlifting competition in March.”
Granted, you’re probably not gearing up for a competition of that magnitude, but you can train for a 5K race (try a “Couch to 5K Challenge”). Or aim to cook dinner at home three days a week. Or hold a plank position for 60 seconds. Once you hit that target, focus on the next step. All these small changes will add up to a big reward and you’ll think, “Why did I put that off for so long?”