Happy 2012 BeeWell for Life-ers! Are you ready for this to be your best year yet? We certainly are, and hope you’ll join us in our New Year Nutrition Checklist Challenge (we’re doing it too!)
So grab a pen and paper, or a computer and a blank document and copy/print this checklist to put up somewhere that you’ll see it everyday (like on your desk, your refrigerator, etc.) Make multiple copies so that you can actually CHECK off whether or not you’ve met each goal each day. If you’re anything like us, you’ll LOVE crossing off your accomplishments each day!
In just four weeks, we guarantee you’ll be feeling better than ever, be healthier than ever, and if you have extra pounds that you’re planning to shed in 2012, this nutrition challenge will start you on the path to success. Plus, each week of this month we’ll be blogging about ways help you stay motivated and on track during the challenge. Who’s with us?
Here’s how it works!
Each goal is categorized as a monthly goal, a weekly goal, or a daily goal. But remember, even though we’re starting with a four week challenge, there’s no reason that you can’t continue these healthy habits forever — and that’s the ultimate goal. We think that if you consistently do these things for 4-weeks, the majority of them will be on their way to becoming lifetime habits. Meet these goals 6 days out of 7 each week (except for the monthly and weekly goals — those you need to meet all of) and you’ve successfully completed this challenge. What are you waiting for? You can do ANYTHING for 4 weeks, right?
MY NUTRITION CHALLENGE CHECKLIST
- Write down 3 ways that you can improve your diet and how
Once per week
- Put together a general plan of meals for the week and a grocery list
- Organize your fridge
- Write down 3 things that you’re proud of accomplishing for the week
- Track your eats & drinks: Tracking what you eat is important to helping you stay mindful about what you’re putting in your mouth. The purpose of this task isn’t to necessarily focus on counting calories, but rather to help with food amnesia and keep you honest with yourself! Recording your meals, snacks, and beverages will also help you identify if you’re meeting other goals on the list, like eating enough veggies, staying away from white bread products, and drinking enough water.
- Eat breakfast every morning: Aim to eat something within 1 hour of waking up. If you’re not a morning eater and aren’t ready to jump into a full breakfast that early, breaking breakfast into two parts can help you get used to having something in your stomach earlier. For instance, a small fruit and yogurt smoothie, 1/2 of a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter, 1/2 of an English muffin with peanut butter or cheese, a hard boiled egg, or a non-fat latte are all smaller starts to the day. Then about an hour later eat the rest of your breakfast. In total, your breakfast should range from 350 calories – 450 calories depending on whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it, respectively. Aim for including a whole grain (like whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread, oats, etc.), a source of protein (yogurt, eggs, milk, nut butter, or beans), and at least 1/2 cup of fruit.
And remember, it’s better to eat something than nothing, as breakfast jump starts your metabolism in the morning and will help you control your appetite the rest of the day (even if it seems like it makes you feel hungrier when you first start eating it!)
- Avoid white bread, white pasta, and other processed carbohydrates sources: These types of carbohydrates burn up quickly because they lack fiber and other nutrients, leaving you unsatisfied and reaching for more food soon after, which can lead to overeating. Processed carbs also increase your blood sugar quickly, which causes your energy to rise but then plummet quickly and can also lead to fat storage. Replace processed carbs like white bread and white pasta with whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, whole grains like quinoa, bulgur wheat, wheat berries, and starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and white potatoes, winter squashes, peas, beans.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day to stay hydrated:Seltzer water, club soda, and herbal tea count towards your water goal too!
- Bring lunch from home at least 4 days out of the work week (if you’re working at home or staying at home, make sure to plan what you’re going to have for lunch and sit down to a meal, rather than grazing throughout the day.)
- Eat at least 1 cup of vegetables at lunch (or a snack) and dinner
- Eat 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit
- Eat at least one meal per day away from distraction (tv, computer, phone, etc.)