5 Ways To Maintain Healthy Habits By Megan Roosevelt, RDN & Founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com 1. Focus On Quality Over Calories Calorie counting and dieting go hand-in-hand. But diets don’t work! Most individuals who lose weight on a diet, gain it back, and then some. The reason? Diets are often unrealistic, not sustainable or enjoyable. Instead focus on eating real, whole food ingredients. Real food helps to nourish your body so it can function optimally. This will improve your metabolism, hormones and overall wellbeing. Eating real food is also more enjoyable and the key for adopting a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight long-term. Also, plant-based foods are generally low in calories and nutrient dense. Fruits and vegetables are also water dense, helping to fill you up, not out. The key to creating nutritionally balanced and satisfying plant-based meals and snacks is to include protein and/or fat as well as carbohydrates (whole-grain/fruit/starchy vegetable) at each meal or snack. 2. Move Your Body & Find A Buddy! The best workout is the one you enjoy! Find a way to move your body everyday in a way that works for you. It could be walking outside, jogging, yoga, group fitness classes, hiking, gardening, online workouts or lifting weights. If you sit at a desk or computer all day, get up every hour to go for a small walk around the office or to stretch. Lastly, find a fitness friend to help keep each other accountable. An active lifestyle is key for a healthy life. 3. Support Optimal Digestion Do you need to lose weight or are you actually… bloated? Irregular bowel movements and a slow sluggish digestive system can leave you feeling gaseous, bloated and constipated. You can improve digestion by eliminating artificial sweeteners and artificial ingredients from your diet as well boosting hydration, fiber intake and physical activity! Foods that help support healthy digestion include fermented vegetables, bananas, apple cider vinegar as well as raw or cooked fruits and vegetables. Staying properly hydrated also helps to boost digestion. Lastly, you can supplement with digestive enzymes, which help to heighten the action of your own enzymes to break down food, soothe digestive distress and increase nutrient absorption. 4. Boost Hydration Water helps to suppress appetite and also increase your body’s natural ability to metabolize fat. Dehydration can slow our metabolism, as well as lead to fatigue and fluid retention. Plain water or herbal teas are the best ways to hydrate. Consuming water dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, is also a great way to consume more water. Keep a water bottle at your desk or with you at all times to make hydration easy! 5. Treat, Don’t Cheat! Don’t completely eliminate the foods you love. Denying yourself will only backfire! Enjoy a treat every now and then and don’t stress about it. Remember, your best weight is whatever the scale says when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy living!