25 Simple Tweaks From Health Coaches That Make a Big Difference

Unless you’re Gwyneth, sticking to Goop-like healthy living ideals is 100 percent impossible. Yes, we’ll try a smoothie bowl for breakfast, but no, we won’t be completely ditching alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and nightshades, or taking up extracurricular “healthy” activities like vagina steaming as part of our 2016 resolutions.

If you agree that healthy living is about balance, and not about being totally virtuous in every single lifestyle choice you make, then we have some good news: Feeling—and looking—healthier doesn’t have to involve a total life overhaul. Case-in-point: 25 easy tweaks recommended by health coaches who specialize in getting clients back on track every January. Every single tip’s super easy to implement every day, but will make a big difference to your wellbeing in the long-run. Experts usually charge for this kind of advice, so listen up.

Practice breathing exercises: “Conscious breathing will help to stabilize hormones, rebalance stress chemistry, and assist optimal metabolism and digestion. If you’re not breathing right, once again you’re missing one of the essential ingredients in being optimally healthy. I encourage my clients to lay down on their backs for five minutes a day with their legs up to encourage diaphragmatic breathing which is best for ideal health.”Bridget Jane, New Leaf Nutrition

Check your B vitamin intake: “Getting your B vitamins from dark leafy green vegetables will reduce stress, increase your REM sleep, promote energy, and enhance focus throughout the day.”Dani Lieberman, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador

Sleep with essential oils: “Diffuse essential oil in your bedroom while you sleep. My favorite is lavender; it calms you down so you can get a deeper, more restful sleep.—Marissa Vicario, Institute for Integrative Nutrition-trained health coach 

Eat less factory-farmed animal products: “By doing so you will cut back on the amount of chemical growth hormones and antibiotics you are consuming. Either cut back on total meat consumption, even for one day a week by embracing Meatless Mondays, or reach for grass-fed, free range or pasture-raised animal products when possible.”Jennifer CassettaInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach and personal trainer

Track your period with an app: “I use a period tracker app (I recommend that you try this one) for my period so I can keep an eye on cycle length. This app enables me to get a sense of what my hormones love in terms of diet, stress levels, exercise patterns and other lifestyle habits. There are options for tracking your mood, symptoms, weight, medications, intimacy, and temperature. Getting to know your body is an essential element in living a long-term healthy lifestyle, and apps such as this really assist in creating a connection with your body.”Bridget Jane, New Leaf Nutrition

Pre-prepare salads in a jar: “Try these ingenious Salad in a Jar recipes— the easiest (and best-looking) bring-to-work lunch. Layer your favorite mix of dressing, cooked veggies, and protein in airtight mason jars at the beginning of the week, and then just grab one and go each morning for a satisfying and nutritious meal.”Maria MarloweInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach 

Download a meditation app: “Do you think meditation is a waste of time? Wrong! Meditating for even just 10 minutes a day can increase mindfulness which can relate to being more productive at work and better decisions on your plate. I use Deepak Choprah‘s meditation app.”Jennifer CassettaInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach and personal trainer

meditation 25 Simple Tweaks From Health Coaches That Make a Big Difference

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Quit refined sugar: Beyond just promoting weight gain, sugar may be a culprit behind high blood pressure, heart disease, cloudy thinking, a shoddy memory, and increased risk of chronic disease like diabetes. The more sugar you eat, the more you will crave it, but this free three-day sugar detox meal plan will wean your tastebuds off sugar, so you don’t even miss it. The satisfying meals utilize whole food, healthy fats, proteins, veggies, and fruits to stop cravings in their tracks. As your tastebuds get used to more naturally sweet foods, like fruit, you’ll soon find that the candy and cookies you used to enjoy are too sweet. When you cut out refined sugar, you should drop a few pounds and improve your health.”Maria MarloweInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach and personal trainer

Scrape your tongue: Sounds gross, but keep reading: Tongue scraping is not only cleansing, but also stimulating, and it goes that extra mile toward fighting plaque and keeping your breath fresh. A tongue-scraper is a metal U-shaped tool you can find at a health food store or on online stores like Amazon. It’s used to remove excess bacteria and food build-up from the surface of the tongue.”—Marissa Vicario, Institute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach 

Eat your probiotics: “A probiotic supplement is a great start, but many don’t live up to the benefits claimed on the package. Instead I recommend that my clients eat their probiotics through fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Added bonus: when you eat different food you get different strands of those good-for-your-gut bacteria.”Robyn Youkilis, Institute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach

Prepare your meals in advance: “Minimize your time in the kitchen and the number of healthy meals you eat throughout the week, by meal prepping on Sunday. Make a menu, then roast your veggies, cook your grains, and prepare your proteins in large batches on the weekend. Then simply reheat throughout the week. By making a variety of foods and dressings, you’ll be to mix and match dishes to make a variety of different combos so it doesn’t get boring.”Maria MarloweInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach 

Drink more than half a gallon of water each day: “Humans are 55-75% water so, if we’re not drinking enough it’s logical we’ll feel sluggish, foggy, lethargic, and blocked. Water keeps everything flowing and flushed as it should be and is an absolute fundamental in all the work I do with clients.”Bridget Jane, New Leaf Nutrition

Start the day with apple cider vinegar: Begin your mornings with a healthy cocktail of hot lemon water with a dash (or sprinkle) of organic apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has so many positive effects like detoxing the liver, stabilizing blood sugars, and boosting natural energy.”Katy Kelnhofer, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador

Chew your food until liquid: “The more you chew, the less work your belly has to do to digest your food, which means more energy for you and less bloating, gas, and indigestion. Don’t worry about number of chews, just focus on chewing each and every bite until it becomes liquid in your mouth.”Robyn Youkilis, Institute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach

Structure your days: “Log your daily habits into a calendar to see what changes need to happen to accomplish your goals. Thriving comes from putting a rhythm, or you can call it a structure, in place that gives you the basis to change your habits. And chose to change one at a time so it sticks.” Jeanette Bronée, Institute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach

Find small ways to reduce stress: “Stress undermines and counters any efforts you make towards being healthier. It unbalances hormones and spikes cortisol. Yes we’re busy, yes stuff happens, however if you choose to breathe, and stay present and calm amongst the challenges, your health will be significantly improved.”Bridget Jane, New Leaf Nutrition

Choose slower digesting carbohydrates: “Slow-digesting carbs such as brown rice, whole grains, yams, sweet potatoes, and quinoa provide more sustained energy throughout the day and should make up the bulk of your carbs. Fast-digesting carbs like sugar and white bread can spike blood sugar levels and increase the insulin response.”Dani Lieberman, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador

Fill your Instagram feed with #fitspo: “For daily motivation, I love @kayla_itsines to get my behind to the gym, @caleyalyssa for gorgeous yoga, and for anything healthy food or living related, I post easy healthy recipes and tips @maria_marlowe.Maria MarloweInstitute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach

Track your progress: “Logging your training sessions and daily calories on apps like MyFitnessPal, Argus, and Lost It help keep your fitness on track while keeping you motivated. You can now track your meals, training goals, and physique pics on the net while connecting with likeminded individuals.”Dani Lieberman, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador

Embrace DIY junk food: “If takeout and restaurants are your weakness, make your favorite foods at home and upgrade the ingredients. Try pancakes with coconut flour, buckwheat flour, or almond meal or pad thai with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. You get all the flavor of your favorite foods with more nutrition and none of the salt, sugar and additives found in prepared food.”—Marissa Vicario, Institute for Integrative Nutrition-certified health coach 

Put your phone down an hour before bed: “Not only does this help you sleep better, but it helps you wind down the natural way; by reading a good book, writing in a journal, or meditating. And, you may even get more sleep, because you are not sucked into what’s going on in the social media world.”Katy Kelnhofer, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador

Fill half your plate with veggies: “Switch up the ratio of vegetables on your plate, and fill at least half your plate with veggies, especially leafy greens. Fiber-rich vegetables fill you up and deliver a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals to keep your energy levels up and your immune system strong.”—Marissa Vicario, Institute for Integrative Nutritioncertified health coach 

Pick a movement and count how many times you do it in a week: For example, count the number of flights of stairs you climb in a week.  You can do this once a month or even make it a friendly competition with co-workers or family.”Jonathan Ross, ACE-certified health coach

Snack on green vegetables: “Green veggies cleanse the blood and the gut. Their phytonutrients and fibre act as internal cleansers that help your body to remove anything that is hindering an optimal internal state. Broccoli is one of the best green veggies you can eat, however, mix it up and choose Asian greens, leafy greens, and other cruciferous varieties such as brussels sprouts.”Bridget Jane, New Leaf Nutrition

Document gratitude: “Keep a small journal next to your bed and each night make it a point to write down six things (at least!) you are grateful for. Despite the kind of day I had, I look for the silver linings and find gratitude.”Katy Kelnhofer, yoga instructor, health coach, and Vimmia ambassador