Half of the people who make a New Year’s Resolution stop within 3 months. However, research shows that it is better to make a resolution than not at all. One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is the desire to lose weight and eat healthier. Rather than falling off again this year, here are some tips to staying motivated to stick with it!
Avoid people who are negative or unsupportive - people can be as detrimental to your diet and fitness goals as fatty foods and your couch. It is important to recognize certain behaviors so you stay strong in your decision to eat well and exercise year round.
The Food Pushers – family can be lovingly relentless around the holidays pushing homemade brownies, and second helpings your way. Using phrases such as, “you can go off your diet just this once.” This is extremely undermining and virtually invisible because they seem so loving and well intentioned. Their influence on your decision to stay the course can be especially powerful because it typically comes from people you trust – your parents, grandparents, spouses, and friends. Remember to be polite when you can but firm when you must. You alone are responsible for what you put in your body and what you do to get in shape.
The Jealous – Some of the people you know may be too unmotivated to address their weight or start an exercise program. You show up looking fit and trim since the last time they saw you and their jealousy kicks in with phrases like, “you look great…how’d you do it?” At the same time inwardly they may be thinking sabotaging thoughts. These people are not really happy for your success and may eventually start saying things like, “Don’t you think your taking this diet thing too seriously?” More often than not, they are making these comments because they haven’t been able to make changes in their own lives. Don’t be side tracked from accomplishing your goals because someone else is too afraid or unmotivated to follow their own diet and exercise plan.
The inflexible – Once you decide to make a change there may be people who will resist that change. This happens because they prefer to maintain the safe and comfortable environment they are accustomed to. For example, if you cook for your family and you start making healthier meals, it may not be long before your family starts a conspiracy to get you off your diet. Many people resist change! Try never to let anyone take your determination away from you, especially when it is for there own comfort.
What you can do to stay on track when everyone else isn’t…
Make every second count by finding ways to incorporate exercise into your activities of daily living. For example, park your car farther from work and walk a couple extra blocks. In the winter, this will become more like speed walk, which helps burn more calories. And try to take the stairs when ever possible.
Eat positive calories. Remember, what you put in your mouth is 70% of the equation... Stay away from soda, fried foods, and anything high in sugar. I personally don’t believe in cutting out a food group. Just try to eat everything in moderation. Incorporating more fiber (fruits and vegetables) in your diet is key! Not only is it healthy more fiber fills you for longer, which helps you stay satiated until you get to your next meal.
Oh and who can forget, stay hydrated, water, water, and just when you thought you had enough more water.The general rule of thumb is to consume half your body weight in ounces. This will help to flush out toxins and keep your body running efficiently, which will tell your body it is okay to let go of your unnecessary weight.
If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, try drinking some water, chances are you are just dehydrated. Dehydration can commonly be misinterpreted as hunger.
Get a good night sleep. People who get 8-10 hours of sleep every night tend to be more alert and make better choices. In turn, seeing greater results with weight loss goals. Recovery time (see previously posted blog on recovery) is very essential to seeing results from your exercise regimen and weight loss. Make sleep a priority!
But I don’t know how to eat healthy…
Here are some examples of recipes I enjoy during the winter months:
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain) with 1 T. flaxseed, tsp. of honey and blueberries to cover
Green Kale Shake
2 packed cups Green Kale, spine removed
1 peeled and chopped mango
1 coconut water
1-2 cups Almond Milk
2 T. flax meal
1 scoop protein powder
Put everything in the blender. Blend and serve
Quinoa with roasted vegetables and grilled chicken
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup of roasted veggies (yellow squash, onion, red pepper, zucchini)
1 boneless,skinless, chicken breast
Snacks: hummus and veggies, apple and almond butter
Alternative to soda: Seltzer water with a splash of POM (pomegranate).
I don’t have time to exercise… here are some exercises (no equipment required) that are efficient and effective when you are short on time.
Even on your busiest day you can find 10 minutes, if you can’t you may want to assess how you can adjust your schedule. Take those 10 minutes and do a small circuit – cardio, upper, middle, and lower.
Perform cardio for 60 seconds (mountain climbers, jump squats and/or running in place).
Perform as many push-ups as you can (with good form) up to a minute
Then do 30 reps of an abdominal exercise of your choice or hold Plank for 30 sec
Finish with 30 reps of squats or lunges
Complete 3 to 6 total circuits or until you run out of time. Try to beat your previous time completed each time you complete the circuit.
Don’t Forget to stretch! I truly believe flexibility is paramount to all exercise routines. There are a number of ways you can incorporate flexibility in your routine.
First, get a foam roller and use it. Releasing fascial tension is key to having a more lithe look. Another option to incorporate flexibility is to take a yoga class. Try taking Yin Yoga for a really focused stretch.
Being aware of some of the obstacles will help you stay on track. Let’s make this year the year you stick to your New Year’s Resolution!
Written by: Victoria D. Gray, check out more tips on health & nutrition at victoriadgray.com