Ditch the New Year resolutions and click here to read my top tips on how to take control of your life and embark on a healthier new you.
As we kiss goodbye to Christmas and enter the new year, many of you will adopt the notion of "new year, new you". Christmas is that time where so many people consume the most amount of food. Old habits being to surface, you eat endlessly without giving a second thought as to how you intend to rid those extra pounds until the new year.
This post isn't about shaming anyone, so please don't think for a minute that I am casting aspersions. Moreover, I want to empower you to start the new year on a more positive note. I want to offer you some tips on how to embark on a healthy "new year".
Here are a few tips on how to become a healthier, better version of yourself for the new year.
Yes, that's right! I know what you are thinking, what do you mean Charla, I need to diet in order to loose weight! No you don't. I don't want you to diet because diets, don't work, they are a temporary fix to a perpetuated cycle.
I actually loathe the word diet because it usually means, restricting yourself of calories for a number of weeks/months, putting your body into starve mode which eventually leads to further weight gain or lapsing on your old eating habits once your goal is achieved.
Refocus your mindset
In order to become "more healthier" and be a better vision of yourself, the mindset has to change. Instead of doing a crash diet. Focus on changing your eating habits and let this focus lead you towards a long lasting lifestyle change.
It is imperative that you re-align your change in eating habits to being a permanent change and not just a short term goal to decrease the risk of failure.
Have realistic new years resolution
That's right! Every year I'm surrounded by people who tell me their new years resolution is "join the gym" "loose 10lb in 2 weeks""go on a diet". While this all sounds great and I am genuinely happy for them.
Sadly these new years resolutions are short lived because they are often too far fetch or unrealistic for said person.
For example, let's say you are a 44 year woman, who is overweight, and has never exercised in your life and you have come to the realization that you should loose some weight. It is VERY unrealistic to aim to "loose 10lbs in less a month''.
I personally don't have new years resolutions simply because my personality permits me to make most desirable changes with immediate effect. I don't wait for a new year or new month, I make those changes to my life accordingly.
However, I am aware that not everyone is like me and that's okay. I simply want you to have a more realistic approach towards "healthy living''.
Take baby steps
One of the most successful ways of embarking a more healthier lifestyle is to take small steps. It can be too drastic and overwhelming to go "cold turkey" and change your eating habits with immediate effect.
By taking simple steps you are more likely to garner a successful transition.
If you don't eat vegetables, start by introducing a new vegetable each week. On the other hand, if you want to reduce your food intake, then do so in steps/stages. You are unlikely to relapse if you take your time.
Increase physical activity
Healthy eating is often complemented with an increase in physical activity. It's really important to partake in some form of exercise but many people find the thought of doing exercise really daunting.
Well, it doesn't have to be anything too strenuous and complex. It could be something simple as a 10 minute walk which you can gradually increase.
The gym can be intimidating and/or scary for some, so why not workout from home instead. There are some great DVD's and mobile equipment that you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Alternatively, you can join the gym. January is one of the best times to sign up to the gym because there are an abundance of great deals and discounts to be had for the new year.
Keep a log/journal or meal planner
It's always a good idea to document your healthy eating habit. Keeping a log/journal is an excellent tool to keep track of your progress. You can use your log as a baseline to evaluate your health status and see any changes that you have made in a written format.
A meal plan is a great way of offering more structure to what you are eating with the luxury to plan ahead of time. This gives you the ability to be more organised, knowing what and when you will be eating on a daily basis.
Whether you choose to log/meal plan you are more inclined to feel more motivated, confident and positive about your new healthy lifestyle.
Surround yourself with positivity
This one is a lot easier said then done and I am definitely not trivializing things. It's so important to be around people who want to support your goals. Get rid of any negative people who aren't supporting your goals, they will only make you feel worse.
There will be people who will doubt you and you may even doubt yourself at times, so it's important to be good to yourself.
Say positive affirmations, read or join a support group on or offline if you need to. Heck, even meditate if you must but whatever you do! Be positive and believe in yourself.
Portion control and being disciplined
Now is the time to think more wisely about the size of the portions consumed. It is so easy to over indulge and sabotage your hard work.
Vegetables such as spinach, kale, green beans are naturally low in fat and low in carbohydrates so you can consume as much as you wish. However, other foods that are high in saturated fat or unrefined carbs need to be curbed.
Being disciplined will be difficult in the beginning but will get easier as you transition into your new lifestyle. There will be times when you will be outside of your comfort zone or what you know.
For example going to a family gather or eating out. This is the time where you may need to exercise more discipline than ever. Controlling the portion sizes of your food or resisting those "naughty treats".
Cooking from scratch/taking control of your nutrition
There's no better way to lead a healthy lifestyle then by cooking from scratch. Well that's what Charla does, I cook the majority of things from scratch and if you have been following my website, then hopefully you will be following suit.
If not, definitely consider tossing out the ready made meals and trading them in for some recipes that are hearty, nutritious and wholesome.
Cooking from scratch affords you the luxury to take complete control over your health. You know exactly what is in those meal that you are making. The ingredients are known to you, the size, the calories, it's all tailored to your preference.
Treat yourself!! Leading a more nutritionally dense lifestyle should be fun and definitely not boring. Treat yourself at times when you have exceeded your expectations. As long as your "treat" is just that and not over consumption!
and it's okay to relapse, we are ALL human and fall back from time to time. Just remember to dust yourself off and try again!!