11. Drink up before you eat.
“Thirty minutes before you sit down to eat, drink eight- to 12-ounces of water to curb your appetite,” says Abbott. This will keep you hydrated, and might prevent you from overeating, too. Make it a habit by keeping a water bottle by your side. Sip for a few, then bite.
12. Slow down your decision making.
It might seem difficult, but it’s not: Simply think twice before you grab a bag of chips, get up to retrieve your chocolate stash or check social media. Wait for a few minutes and recognize what you’re about to do before you actually do it, say Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz, authors of Just Sit. You might even use these “spark times” to meditate for a few minutes instead.
13. Program in push-ups.
Every time you get up to grab some coffee or refill your water glass, stop, drop and bang out 10 push-ups, says Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Lykke and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Don’t let your co-workouts hold you back. “Yes I do this, and yes, my colleagues do think I am crazy,” Wiking says. But these little bursts of exercise built into your day will give you a boost of energy — and probably a smile.
14. Roast a big batch of vegetables.
We could all use a little more color in every meal. The easiest way to get more: Cook up a batch of Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes or cauliflower today and then add them to meals throughout the week, says Largeman-Roth. Add your fiber-rich veggies to salads, grain bowls or just eat as a side dish. “All you need is a sheet pan, olive oil, salt and pepper and you’re set,” she says.
15. Swap your phone for a book.
Tonight when you’re lying in bed, instead of scrolling through Instagram or reading Facebook posts, grab a paperback book or put on a calming playlist, says Dr. Frank Lipman, bestselling author and founder of BeWell. “Turn off all phones, computers, tablets and TVs by 8 or 9 p.m. And give yourself about 30 to 60 minutes before bed to wind down sans screen,” he says.
16. Make your gym visit quicker.
You don’t need to spend hours working out to see solid results. Just heed the advice of Ryan Hall, a former pro long-distance runner and first U.S. runner to break the one-hour half-marathon. He limits his rest time between exercises and supersets strength moves to get more done in less time. “I time my recovery and try to stick as close to 45 seconds rest as possible,” he says. “This helps get in cardio work without having to spend time running on the treadmill or doing the stair stepper.” As for super sets, try alternating chest exercises with back-focused moves or mix lower body lifting with upper body work.
17. Finally try a day without sugar (or the fake stuff).
If you’ve done Whole 30 you know this can get tough. But vow to make it happen for at least 24 hours — and see how you feel from there. For starters, if you usually make instant sweetened oatmeal, try making steel cut oats and stirring some natural nut butter into it, plus fresh fruit, says Largeman-Roth. “The richness of the nut butter and the sweetness of the fruit will be enough to satisfy you,” she says. If you still need extra flavor, add just a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey.
18. Diffuse essential oils.
Today for self-care, take time to enjoy the relaxing scent of oregano, nutmeg, peppermint, cardamom and cloves or a few drops of lavender, says Haylie Pomroy, author of The Fast Metabolism Diet. “[These oils] are soothing and pleasant, evoking relaxation, healing and positive feelings throughout the body,” she says. Add drops to a diffuser or into a bath for deeper relaxation.
19. Run for the hills.
Stuck in a cardio rut? Hall suggests switching it up and adding some hill sprints to your routine. “They’re one of the best workouts you can do to build power and strength, especially if you aren’t doing heavy lifting at the gym,” he says. Find a hill that’ll take you 10 to 30 seconds to scale and do 10 to 20 sprints up, then walk back down.
20. Cook up some pulses.
That is, dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. “These high-fiber, high-protein foods are crazy good for you and are also great for the planet and your wallet, too,” says Largeman-Roth. Make a big batch of these filling foods to add to salads or stews.