Historically the most popular resolutions are health and weight related, but unfortunately most of them areÂ not fulfilled. Most people want to lose weight, exercise more, fit into a certain dress or look good in a bikiniÂ come summer. How about taking a different, more sustainable approach this year?
First, do some soul searching. Why do you really want to loseÂ the weight? Try to find a positive reason for wanting to changeÂ that is long-lasting, instead of just reaching a certain numberÂ on the scale. Living a longer, healthier life is a more sustainable,Â long-term goal. Maybe you want to be able to play with your kidsÂ or enjoy basketball with your friends. Pinpoint a reason that isÂ long-term and special to you, then write it down in a place youÂ can see to keep motivated,Â computer’s desktop.
Once you know your true motivation, it’s time to set goals that willÂ establish lifelong healthy habits. Instead of trying to lose weight,Â focus on filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. ThisÂ goal will not only result in weight loss, but also weight maintenance (in addition to preventing a long list of chronic diseases).Â Regarding fitness, establish a routine of exercising for 30 minutesÂ 5 times a week if you are a beginner or add to your current work-out regime if you are an established exerciser.
There are numerous ways to improve your health: eating clean andÂ avoiding processed foods, reducing the amount of red meat youÂ consume, indulging in sweets only twice a week, adding weightÂ lifting and stretching to your cardio workout regime. But the listÂ does not stop there. Most importantly, if you smoke, now is theÂ time to quit. Another bad habit to kick is drinking soft drinks orÂ any other type of sugary drinks; these liquids are full of chemicalsÂ and sugar, all of which deteriorate health and lead to weight gain.Â Drinking water, plain teas, black coffee and unadorned lattesÂ provide a healthier source of hydration.
Take a look at your current lifestyle, decide on the three most important habits you want to break or establish this year and stick toÂ it. Remember that even if things are not going to well at times, youÂ need to get back on the horse and keep going. Before you knowÂ it, your goals will become second nature.