Healthy lifestyle habits you adopted during the first half of the year set you up for the remainder of the year.
Here are 8 small changes you can make to improve your health this year.
8 Chances to Boost Your Health This Year
#1 Start Your Day with Protein
Simply put, the average individual doesn’t consume enough daily protein, and a contributing factor to that is that they don’t consume enough (or any substantial amount of) protein at breakfast.
But, breakfast is quite literally the meal that gets your metabolism, brain, and body going for the day, regardless if breakfast is in the morning or after a 16-hour fast.
Not consuming enough protein can lead to increased feelings of hunger during the day, which can lead to overeating.
Incorporating protein into your breakfast is pretty easy too. Protein-rich breakfast options include:
- Cottage cheese
If any and all of those don’t seem to fit the bill, you can always mix up a protein shake using a scoop of 1UP Whey Protein, Egg Protein, or Vegan Protein, and have it alongside your normal breakfast fare.
#2 Drink More Water
Working out and staying active increases water usage by the body and failure to properly hydrate can lead to dehydration.
As such, make sure you’re drinking enough fluids and electrolytes everyday. An easy way to start the day off right is to have a tall glass of water immediately upon waking. Also, make sure that you’re sipping enough fluids throughout the day. For instance, when you’re taking your serving of 1UP Pre Workout before training, use 8-16 ounces of water (at least). This not only helps you to consume enough fluids during the day, but also helps facilitate delivery of all of the important nutrients in your pre workout to boost energy, focus, and performance. Proper hydration also allows you to push harder in your workouts, burn more calories, resist fatigue, and ultimately get better results!
If you’re not a fan of plain water, consider adding some slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or strawberry to your water to flavor it without adding a bunch of unwanted calories.
And, if you’re not sure whether or not you're consuming enough fluids each day, log into the 1UP Fitness App, which allows you to track your water intake to ensure you stay hydrated. The app also lets you easily track your calories and macros to make sure you’re staying on track with your health & fitness goals.
#3 Step It Up!
When it comes to boosting metabolism and increasing calorie burning, we almost always think of heart-pounding, sweat-dripping, wind-sucking workouts. And, it’s true, intense workouts definitely burn calories.
But, did you know that low-level activities like walking can also boost metabolism and help increase energy expenditure during the day?
With summer upon us, the sun is out and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and move more each day. Walking more may not seem like you’re burning a ton of calories (especially compared to your resistance-training or HIIT workouts), but every little bit counts whether it’s parking at the back of the parking lot, going for a 10-minute walk after lunch, or doing some more chores around the house.
Plus, moving more during the day also helps increase how many calories you’re burning without feeling like you’re punching in for yet another cardio session at the gym.
#4 Cook More
Access to ready-to-eat food is more ubiquitous that ever before. You can literally click a few buttons on your phone and have food at your house in as little as 15 minutes.
While convenience and expediency is a great thing, it doesn’t always carry with it quality nutrition or macro-friendly meals.
Also, something to keep in mind is that anytime you outsource your nutrition to someone else you’re paying considerably more money for your food and you really don’t know what’s in it, which can make it harder to accurately track your calorie and macro intake.
If you’re short on time (and who isn’t these days?!) and think you don’t have enough time to individually cook all the meals you need each day, then try to find a day or two during the week when you can spend an hour or two batch-prepping a few meals at once. This small investment in time and effort will save you considerably more time during the week.
If you need some tips for streamlining meal prep, click here.
#5 Be a Savvy Snacker
Snacks are great! They’re the perfect little scrumptious morsel you need to tide you over until it’s time for dinner. Snacks come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, too, from bite-sized and crunchy (like almonds, pistachios and crispy chickpeas) to smooth and sweet like greek yogurt or whey protein shakes.
As awesome and versatile as snacks, they can also be an area of the diet where many individuals go awry.
For instance, many of the foods found on store shelves touted as “healthy snacks” are nothing more than a collection of over-processed carbohydrates devoid of essential micronutrients, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. In essence, these “healthy snacks” do little to actually help fill you up. All they really do is entice you to keep eating, and thus eat too much to stay on track with your transformation challenge.
As you do with your meals, try to base your snacks around protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. A fantastic (and easy to prep) snack is hard-boiled eggs and fruit. Another option is fresh cut veggies and hummus. Still another is a serving of greek yogurt topped with walnuts and berries.
And, to make sure your snack is actually helping you reach your goals (and not deviate from them), is to log it in the 1UP Fitness App, which includes a comprehensive food database as well as calorie and macronutrient suggestions based on your goals.
#6 Boost Your Veggie Intake
Building off of the previous tip, another way to improve your health this year is to up your veggie intake.
If you’re hosting a summer cookout, make sure to serve an assortment of grilled veggies (in addition to the usual lot of burgers, steaks, chicken, and sausages). Plus, grilled veggies taste better (typically) than raw veggies.
If you’re worried about the veggie slices sliding through the grates of the grill, put them in a grill basket and cook them alongside your proteins. Lastly, don’t be relegated to only cooking corn on the cob. It’s tasty, absolutely, but so too are countless other veggies, including asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, and cauliflower “steaks.”
Another amazing way to get all the nutrients in is our Organic Greens & Reads Superfoods - 19 organic greens & reds fruits and vegetables in every scoop! Supports immune system, Improves gut health, reduces bloating, boosts metabolism, and supports a healthy digestive system.
#7 Make Smart Swaps
Weekend - Holiday barbeques are rife with savory and sweet treats that no doubt may have you veering off course with your typical diet. And while everything in moderation (even sweets) is ok, if you attend a lot of festivities this summer, those indulges can start to compound on themselves.
As such, don’t be afraid to make some smart swaps at get-togethers that can save you calories and possibly help you to feel fuller.
For example, instead of eating the same old bland, cardboard-esque white bread bun with your hamburger or hot dog, try using a lettuce wrap instead to save on carbs and calories.
Another smart swap is to forego the fully-sugared soda or beer and opt for diet soda, light beer, unsweetened tea, or water. You can also mix up a serving of amino acids (like His BCAA/EAA or Her BCAA/EAA) and sip on that to save on calories all the while supporting muscle recovery and hydration.
#8 Get More Sleep
Never underestimate the power of sleep. It is absolutely essential to optimal health, as well as getting results.
The problem is that too many people eschew sleep in the never-ending quest to “crush it” 24/7.
Don’t let ego and pride ruin your health, though.
Not getting enough sleep is known to:
- Increase protein breakdown
- Decrease protein synthesis
- Hinder recovery
- Worsen athletic performance
- Impair energy metabolism
- Increase hunger & cravings
- Reduce satiety & feelings of fullness
- Lower mood
- Reduce motivation
- Decrease physical activity
Sleep deprivation can also affect insulin sensitivity and raise cortisol levels, both of which impair the body’s ability to properly utilize and store the carbohydrates, fats, and protein you’re eating.
As such, aim to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
Some tips to help get better sleep each night include:
- Setting a consistent bedtime (and sticking to it!)
- Limiting blue light exposure
- Practicing stress management (journaling, meditating, praying, etc.)
- Getting sunlight exposure during the day
- Exercising regularly
- Limit caffeine/alcohol before bed
- Keep your room cool & dark
Our nighttime recovery supplements use natural ingredients backed by research, including Theanine, Melatonin, and 5-HTP, that promote relaxation and deep sleep, thereby supporting the body’s recovery and growth powers.