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Many of us start the new year with the greatest of intentions, only to find ourselves giving up half way through January. When it comes to setting goals around fitness, the tendency to place too many rules and regulations on ourselves, as well as sky-high expectations, means that inevitably we become disheartened very quickly.
Creating healthy goals is a great idea but staying motivated and focused is the tricky part, which is why we suggest making resolutions that are not only easy to keep, but they also fit into our busy lifestyles.
No, we’re not just talking about alcohol. Put down those fizzy drinks that are laden with sugar, acid and empty calories, and lean towards water and the occasional freshly-squeezed fruit juice. From diabetes, to dental cavities, the range of health dangers that soft drinks pose is a shocking glimpse into a growing epidemic. Did you know, to walk off the calories in one can of soft drink, which holds around 16 teaspoons of sugar, one would have to walk, or run, 2.5km? Say goodbye to these health nightmares and choose good ol’ H2O.
Don’t skip breakfast.
The reality is that we’re often too busy to think about breakfast which means that we get to work, realize we’re famished, and reach for the quickest item to consume…which is often unhealthy. Breakfast is called breakfast for a reason, it sets your body up for the day and kick starts your metabolism. Continuing a spate of not eating until lunch will only make your body store up on fats to create energy preserves as it perceives that you’re starving.
If time is an issue, prepare smoothie items the day before or, make some easy healthy snacks such as 4 ingredient date balls which consist of blitzed dates, sugar-free peanut butter, oats and shredded coconut.
Eat more healthy fats.
Fat has become a word that terrifies people because of bad press. However, consuming the right kind of fat can better your mood and increase your chances of losing weight. Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish and are mainly found in Mediterranean-style dishes. Products such as sunflower oil are a polyunsaturated fat which is used to build cell membranes, as well as for muscle movement and blood clotting. These types of fats are required for your body to function normally.
Stop following fad diets
A large amount of damage is done to your body when you undergo strict diet plans that restrict your intake of certain food groups. Taking out large food groups such as carbohydrates or fats will deprive your body of a significant source of energy and valuable nutrients. There is also the danger, once you stop the diet, of your body gaining all the weight that you lost as your normal lifestyle cycle comes into effect.
Get moving at least 3 times a week.
Regular light exercise is a fantastic way to keep you in shape and there is strong evidence that shows that gentle to moderate exercise at least 3 times a week works wonders for your health, improving mobility, muscle tone, weight lost and general well-being. A short 30-minute walk, or slow jog can be easily maintained but remember, any commitment is better than none.
Choose a buddy
Chat to a friend about your concerns and goals. This allows you to get some feedback and partner with someone that can hold you accountable. Partnering up can also mean that task you don’t typically enjoy, suddenly becomes enjoyable because you now have someone to chat to on your run or walk.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Give yourself space to make mistakes. No one is perfect and by being forgiving when you skip a run or have two glasses of wine, it allows you to want to try harder because you’re making allowances for minor slip ups. Don’t use it as an excuse, but going into a new year of resolutions with a realistic attitude can help you stay on track by not placing too high expectations on yourself.