Just because it’s January 4th, doesn’t mean you can’t still make some awesome New Years resolutions. You’ve still got 361 days left in 2013, so that fresh start is still yours for the taking! Grab a pen and start thinking about some goals that you want to accomplish this year. Your goals may range from job/career goals, spiritual goals, and the most popular – weight loss and fitness goals, which what this article will focus on.

Here are 5 diet resolutions you can make this year that are totally worth it:

#1 – Drink More Water

Drink More WaterWater is the best way to stay hydrated, cleanse your body and rid it of toxins, keep your body working in optimal condition, and deter  false signs of hunger. Did you know that many people often confuse their body’s hunger & thirst signals? I know it may sound a little nutty but it’s true. There are times when you think you might be hungry but in truth your body is just dehydrated and in need of a little water. It’s not a bad idea to cut out soda, fruit juice, and sugary drinks as well… or least cut back. Most people do not realize how many calories they are drinking every day. Water does a body good, so drink at least 8-10 glasses each day.

#2 – Eat 5-6 Small Meals Each Day

5 Meals a DayThe word is out! Eating more often actually keeps your metabolism revved up and results in more weight loss than starving yourself. It’s important, however, that what you eat is healthy and nutritious (so don’t reach for those candy bars). Try pre-planning your meals  each day so that you make good choices and don’t end up  struggling to find something nutritious to eat. Strive to eat every 2-3 hours, which is the best way to keep your metabolism functioning properly, as well as your blood sugar and energy levels in balance. When you eat regularly, your body knows it’s ok to burn calories. When you skip meals and deprive your body of food, it goes into starvation mode because it doesn’t know when to expect the next meal, which results in a slower metabolism, hoarding calories, and fat storage. No bueno.

#3 – Focus on Eating Whole Foods

Eat CleanI don’t count calories and diet, per se – I focus on eating unprocessed foods that are nutritious and healthy.  While you can go on a specific kind of diet plan – or follow a meal plan – many find it’s simply easier to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Cut out processed junk food (cookies, chips, candy, fast food, etc.)
  2. Eat “whole” food, like veggies, fruit, and lean protein (chicken, fish, etc.)
  3. Cut out (or cut down) on sugar and sugar laden drinks (soda, KoolAid, etc.)
  4. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates (so choose brown rice or quinoa over white rice, or sweet potatoes over white potatoes, etc.)

Following those simple rules will result a more nutrient-rich diet and a decrease in your weight. But more than that, foods that are unprocessed are more easily digested, so your body can make the most of all those nutrients. In addition to getting leaner, you’re likely to notice changes in your skin, your hair, and your energy levels too!

#4 – Move Your Body

8 Minute WorkoutFor years I hated to work out – hated it! But then I found ways to either make it fun or take the pressure off. You don’t have to join a gym or start some crazy exercise program if you don’t want to. Just make a commitment to get a little exercise for 30-60 minutes each  day. You can start with something easy like taking a walk every day. Then keep your daily walk and add in 50 crunches and 10 burpees. Or you can step up your game and do even more (check out the image to the right). I also recommend checking out the exercise videos from Blogilates or DailyHiit. Their workouts are free and lots of fun, so there are no excuses!

#5 – Eat Smaller Portions

I hate diets that make you feel deprived. So many restrictions and things you can’t eat! If you’re careful, you can still enjoy eating many of the foods you enjoy and still lose weight by simply decreasing your portion sizes.  Since I try very hard to avoid sugar, I do my best to avoid desserts…. but sometimes you just need something sweet. These days I reach for dark chocolate or fruit, but if I really need a dessert I give myself the 3 bite rule – I take 3 bites, chew and enjoy each one, and then walk away from it. Another one of my favorite tricks is using a smaller plate for my dinner, which kind of tricks your mind into thinking you’re eating the same size portions as before. Check out the images below. Can you believe each plate contains exactly the same amount of food?

Portion Size Optical Ilusion

I have to say that my real secret weapon is Skinny Fiber. When I take it 30 minutes before meals, the glucomannan (an all natural fiber) swells in my stomach, so when I eat I get full faster. I don’t eat as much, the smaller portions truly satisfy, and losing weight is so much easier. You can order it here and join the 90 day challenge with me! (Oh and you get my Thin and Strong Plan for free too 😉 )

Write down your goals! 

Studies show that writing down goals is the best way achieve them. If you don’t write them down, they can easily be forgotten and then the commitment is much harder to keep. I write down my goals and make a habit of reading them at least once a day, which helps keep me focused on them. And don’t forget about my tips for how to stay motivated to keep your weight loss resolutions!

What are your 2013 resolutions?  I’d leave to hear what your goals are, so leave me a comment below. I’m wishing you much success this year and beyond!