Holidays and celebrations mostly mean that we eat lots of food and spend lots of money, and of course making New Year’s plans that we want to follow. It can be a beautiful thing to sometimes allow ourselves to be free and eat more and spend more, as long as we are prepared to accept the consequences of gaining some weight and maybe having a lower budget for a few months. Here’s a few tips on how to prevent this for next time, and how to minimize any damage that you made this time.
First, when thinking about New Year’s resolutions I always think that if I need to wait for a new year to make a change then I am not really ready to make that change. I know that might sound a little complicated! However, if you really want to do something then you should start right now — today is a perfect day to start, tomorrow, or next Monday, or the new year will not be any better than today.
That’s why most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten within a couple of weeks after the you make the decision. So rather than waiting for any special day, take one step towards reaching your goals right now. If you always do this then you’ll find it much easier to keep motivated and to keep going.
If you have spent too much this month then try making a shopping list for what you need now. But here’s the difficult part — you need to be strict and stick to your list. I also realized that when I go to shopping if I use cash instead of my card then I don’t spend so much, I am much more careful about what I buy. And I definitely stick to my shopping list.
Now for what’s on a lot of people’s New Year’s resolution list — losing weight. So many of us want to do this, maybe 3 to 5 pounds, or maybe hundreds of pounds. Of course, you’ll need more time and more effort to lose a lot of weight, but however much or little you want to lose it’s still about getting the correct mindset and changing your eating habits.
Here’s a few tips that might help with your weight loss goals. First, if you are already doing regular exercise then I don’t suggest to increase the amount of time that you are exercising. Increasing the duration of your exercise might cause you to eat even more food as it will trigger your body’s hunger signal.
What can be highly beneficial, however, is to increase the intensity. For example, if you have been walking regularly for 30 minutes then try increasing your speed, such as 2 minutes fast walk, then 2 minutes at your normal speed. The most important thing is that you consistently do what you can, whatever your fitness level.
Remember, when you’ve lost the weight you want to lose you’ve not reached your final destination and can just stop, instead you need to focus on healthy living and making the correct choices for improving your health in the long term rather than just losing a few pounds. When you focus on your health, you will lose weight effortlessly.
Most of us also know what our weakness for food is. Maybe it’s eating too much added sugar, too many fruits, or too many baked goods. Starting to cut back, or changing food sources, can make a huge difference. For example, many people unfortunately consume ten or more sugary drinks a day.
Cutting back to 2 or 3, or changing to diet soda (which normally I don’t suggest at all, but can be a first step), and/or mixing the drinks with some water can help reduce the sugar addiction. If you consume too much sugary fruit, then changing to lower sugar fruits such as berries is a good idea.
Also, if you consume bread then maybe you can try sourdough instead of processed bread. Most importantly, try and make a conscious decision about what you are eating, and over time this will help you eat less. Calories are important, but not all calories are equal so do make sure to try and focus on nutrients.
In addition to this, fasting — just once an a while, or regularly such as every week — can not only help you to control your weight but has many other health benefits too, including longevity, clearing your mind, and giving your body time to cleanse and heal. It’s certainly not a bad idea to skip a few meals.
In the end, of course we can all enjoy life, but if you are healthy and happy then you will have more enjoyment and you can really be involved in life and LIVE …
Happy, Beautiful New Year! Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!
Ayda Ersoy: Nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.), Master Trainer, (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro), Registered Yoga Teacher Founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness Founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System. She can be reached at healthangelwarrior.com/ and firstname.lastname@example.org.