Happy New Year! 2024 is here and if improving your health and daily habits is on your mind for this upcoming year, this post is for you. Here’s the thing – I know it’s tempting to start 75 hard or completely overhaul your life. But I promise you, that really isn’t necessary! Small shifts really can lead to massive results. And the best part is that small changes are actually sustainable, meaning you won’t feel overwhelmed and give up by the end of January! So today I’m sharing 24 easy ways to improve your health this year:
1. Drink More Water
Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Staying hydrated supports overall health, boosts energy, decreases headaches, and aids in digestion. A big water bottle helps!
2. Eat a Savory Breakfast
Typical breakfast options like cereal, pastries, pancakes, and waffles are pretty high in sugar and low in protein, leaving your starving and craving more carbs just a couple hours later. Opting for a savory breakfast like a veggie egg scramble or avocado egg toast likely means a breakfast much higher in protein and lower in sugar.
3. Use a Plate
Plating your food rather than eating straight from the bag or grazing at the party allows you to decide exactly how much you want and avoid overeating.
4. Limit Added Sugar
Consuming too much sugar is linked to a long list of health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The goal is <25g added sugar per goal, and a good rule of thumb is choosing sweets with <10g added sugar per serving. 70% dark chocolate is my go-to dessert 🙂
5. Go Alcohol-free on Weekdays
Save the booze for the weekends for better sleep, improved mood, and a clearer head in the mornings. Plus, you’re way more likely to make that morning workout.
6. Move Your Body Daily
Incorporate some form of movement into your daily routine – even a 20 minute power walk makes a huge difference in your mood, energy, and overall health!
7. Make Coffee at Home
Creating your own morning brew saves you time, money, and it’s healthier for you. Our beloved PSL has a whopping 50g of sugar!! Plus, you can have a lot of fun playing barista. My Nespresso was hands down one of my best purchases in 2023!
8. Freeze Half
Whenever you make a big pot of something (soup, chili, marinara sauce, etc) freeze half for later. It’s a great way to have a healthy meal ready when you’re short on time. Your future self will thank you!
9. Meal Prep
Speaking of your future self thanking you, prepping at least one breakfast, lunch, and dinner weekly is a fantastic way to ensure some nutritious meals during the week, win you back some time, and save you some cash.
10. Include a Fruit or Veggie in Each Meal
Fruits and vegetables add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your meals. Plus, they’re naturally low in calories and great for weight loss/management.
11. Sprinkle Chia Seeds over Meal
Sprinkle chia seeds on your yogurt, oatmeal, or avocado toast for a fiber and plant-based omega-3 fatty acid boost. Plus, they help keep you regular!
12. Put Sweets & Treats Away in Cabinets
Out of sight, out of mind. You’re much less likely to eat candy, cookies, and treats if they’re tucked away in your cabinets instead of sitting on the kitchen counter. This simple trick helps curb mindless snacking.
13. Swap in Bone Broth
Opt for bone broth instead of regular broth or stock. It’s rich in nutrients like glycine for gut health, and adds about 10g protein per cup. Plus, it’s much more flavorful than typical broth.
14. Eat a Protein-rich Breakfast
Eat a protein-rich breakfast by 10 AM. Completely skipping breakfast usually means overeating lunch, and the protein will help keep you full and fuel your morning with more energy than coffee.
15. Plan Your Workouts
Schedule your workouts at the beginning of each week as you would a work meeting. Having a plan, plus an actual reminder on your calendar makes it so much more likely that you’ll actually make it to the workout.
16. Prep Your Produce
Rinse and chop produce immediately after buying it. This saves you time when cooking meals and makes snacking on fruit and veggies an easy choice.
17. Stock Your Freezer
Keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruits, veggies, and healthy meals. It’s a convenient way to have nutritious options ready when you need a plan B. And frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, sometimes even more so since they’re frozen at peak ripeness!
18. Cook Once, Eat Twice
When preparing meals, cook extra so you can enjoy leftovers. It saves time and ensures you have a nutritious option for the next meal.
19. Walk After Eating
Go for a walk after big meals. It aids digestion, helps the body use any excess blood sugar for energy, instead of getting stored as fat, and contributes to overall well-being.
20. Eat Fermented Foods Daily
Include at least one fermented food in your daily diet. Some examples include Greek yogurt, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, or sauerkraut. They contain probiotics and promote gut health.
21. Snack on Nuts
Grab a handful of nuts for a snack most days. They’re satisfying, high in fiber, contain healthy fats, and seem to be associated with lowering all kinds of different health issues, from cancer to diabetes.
22. Eat an Early Dinner
Opt for an early dinner to allow your body ample time to digest before bedtime, wake up hungry for breakfast the next morning, and eliminate mindless snacking. A trick is to “close” the kitchen by 7 PM.
23. Pair Your Carbs
Pair your carbs with a source of protein and/or healthy fats. It helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and keeps you satisfied for much longer.
24. Aim for 30 Plants per Week
It may seem like a lot, but “plants” include fruits, veggies, beans, grains, seeds, nuts, and spices. All these different plants contain a variety of different prebiotics – food for your good gut bacteria. 30 plants per week is a great choice for your health, your wallet, and the planet.
Becoming a healthier you in 2024 doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. I hope you got a little inspiration from these 24 easy ways to improve your health. By incorporating one or two of these habits into your lifestyle over the year, you could make a massively positive impact on your health! Cheers to a healthy and happy year ahead.
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