I don’t know about you, but for me one of the hardest times of the year to maintain healthy eating habits is during the Holiday Season. I try to work out as often as I can but it seems like the cold weather motivates me to just stay in bed all cuddled up in my warm sheets and to eat a very healthy breakfast consisting of hot chocolate and cookies topped with Nutella!

I often go to sleep the night before telling myself that the following morning I will eat oatmeal and fruits, but it never happens! Therefore, I always try to not stray too much from my diet throughout the remainder of the day. This helps keep some of the pounds off before everybody’s January New Year’s Resolution – “to drop some weight”, when everybody realizes that they need to hit the gym and get back on track.

Here are my top ten tips that may help you get your motivation to get back in shape and feel healthier than ever!

1. SIGN UP FOR A RACE – either a 5k, 10k, or if you really want to go all out, try a marathon or a triathlon (even if you have never done it, setting goals will make you excited to get out of bed to train for something, train with a purpose!) Do I do this? No, but I read it works, maybe I will try it too….

2. EAT BREAKFAST – We hear this all the time (because it actually works). Whenever I eat a good breakfast, I find myself less hungry throughout the rest of the day and less likely to snack on junk food. Add a little protein, it will help you stay satisfied longer. Some other good options are: oatmeal and cottage cheese or try some egg whites with a slice of wheat toast, or go with a simple Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds.

3. JUMP START WORKOUT – Workout first thing in the morning, it’s a great way to start your day. If you are a mom like myself, try to set the alarm before the kids get up and get in a run or turn on your workout dvd and exercise in your living room. This will keep you motivated to stay on track with your diet and make better choices, as shown in. Remember, you will feel more energized the rest of the day when you workout in the morning.

4. SET REALISTIC GOALS – Don’t go overboard trying to make drastic changes. By the third day of eating only kale and lettuce you are more likely to fall off the wagon and drive to ‘In-N-Out’ for a double double. Make small changes every day. Cut back on portions and try to add veggies to every meal.

5. TRY NOT TO EAT LATE AT NIGHT – I always feel better in the morning when I don’t eat later than 7pm. Suprisingly, I also feel less hungry in the morning.

6. STRENGTH TRAIN – A lot of people think, especially women, that strength training bulks you up but this is not the case. If you are worried about getting big, just go light on the weight and do many repetitions.

7. STAY HYDRATED – I always drink two glasses of water in the morning and carry a bottle of water with me throughout the day. Sometimes we confuse hunger with thirst. If you start feeling a little hungry try drinking one full glass of water.

8. GET ENOUGH SLEEP- Sleeping enough during the night will help you eat better the next day. I don’t know if its the age, but ever since I hit 40, if I get less than six hours of sleep, I feel hungover the next day and I don’t even drink. I have also noticed that I make poorer food choices and end up craving junk food all day. I feel better when I get good nights rest and eat healthier throughout the day.

9. INSTAGRAM FITNESS PICTURES – For some reason when I login to Instagram and see fitness pictures, I get motivated to stay in shape. I personally like to share pictures on instagram of Olympic athletes and their workout routines; I swear it makes me want to run to the gym.

10. THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS – Yes, it works! Smile, don’t you automatically feel better, researchers have shown that when you fake a smile it can elicit the same feelings of when you actually smile.