November, December, and January are filled with food-laden holiday feasts and high-calorie festive beverages. It’s no wonder every year we make the same New Year’s resolutions—“lose weight,” “eat better,” “get in shape.” Instead of waiting to make, and then probably ignore, those New Year’s resolutions, keep your looks—and your mood—their best with some easy nutrition tricks. And if you hit the New Year promising to drop some unwanted pounds, put my top 10 diet tips into practice now and keep that resolution all year long. Whether you’re prepping for love, have found it already, or just want to be the best you possible, you’ll look and feel ready to ring in the New Year.
Eating to Boost Your Mood
Serotonin improves your mood and feelings of satiety from eating.
Eat foods rich in Omega-3s, tryptophan, and antioxidants to increase serotonin.
• Omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, flax seeds, walnuts
• Tryptophan: red meat, dairy products, nuts, and turkey
• Antioxidants: fruits and vegetables
Selenium can help prevent bad moods.
Too little selenium can leave you more anxious, irritable, hostile, and depressed than people with normal levels of selenium. Pistachios, salmon, and shitake mushrooms can quickly get you out of this funk.
How to Grow Strong Nails by Eating Healthy
• Calcium helps get rid of dry brittle nails that break easily.
Calcium-rich foods: yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, broccoli, and kale
• Keratin, the protein that makes up your nails, keeps them strong and moisturized.
Keratin-rich foods: white meat, cheese, strawberries, nuts
• Zinc eliminates and prevents white spots on your nails.
Zinc-rich foods: red meat, poultry, legumes, nuts
Incorporate Healthy Skin Vitamins into Your Diet
• Vitamin B plays a huge part in protecting the skin, including helping to treat acne, and different types of vitamin B work in different ways. It helps to rid the body of toxins through antioxidant properties (thiamine); is essential for skin, hair, and nails (riboflavin); exfoliates the skin and helps with moisture retention (niacin); and treats sensitive skin (pantothenic acid).
• Vitamin C is not just good for warding off colds. Our bodies use vitamin C to produce sebum, an oily substance secreted by hair follicles that acts as a natural hair conditioner. Vitamin C helps skin, too—think fewer wrinkles and less skin dryness—along with reducing inflammation and puffiness under eyes. Strawberries have more vitamin C per serving than oranges or grapefruit.
• Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart and your mood, and also great for your skin. They help to maintain the natural oil that keeps your scalp and hair from drying out, and the moisture in your skin that gives it a healthy, youthful look. Good sources include fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, and certain nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseeds. Eat fish at least twice a week and boost your intake by sprinkling ground flaxseed into yogurt or using a little canola oil while cooking.
• Magnesium aids in the body’s absorption of calcium, helps to regulate blood pressure, and is essential to your body’s ability to make the collagen that keeps your skin elastic and youthful.
• Silica improves the condition of hair and nails, improves the texture and resilience of skin, and is needed to make strong, healthy bones and to keep your blood vessels elastic.
Top 10 Tips to Lose Weight—and Never Diet Again!
1. Set Realistic Diet Goals You’ll Keep
Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Always Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Lose weight and keep it off more effectively.
3. Fill up on Fiber & Protein for Energy
Eat the most food with the fewest calories.
4. Eat Small Meals Frequently & Stay Full
Say goodbye to midnight snacking and overeating.
5. Dine Out the Smart Way & Snack First
Fill up before going out.
6. Dress for Success When Going Out
Wear fitted clothes to discourage overeating.
7. Stay Hydrated
Boost healthy digestion, metabolism, and energy.
8. Snack on Pistachios
Help curb hunger and slow rises in blood sugar levels.
Increase metabolism by gaining muscle.
10. Eat Foods that Boost Metabolism
Think low-fat dairy, berries, high-fiber cereals, green tea, hot peppers, soy beans, citrus fruits, and cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.