HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Let’s face it, you probably spent your entire holiday season celebrating face down in mounds of indulgent foods and drinks, and with the New Year ringing, you’ve made it your mission to burn off all of that excess weight you’ve tried to lose in 2023.
Did you know the top New Year’s resolutions often revolve around weight loss or healthier eating? Unfortunately, many resolutions falter by the third week of January. The common pitfall lies in setting overly ambitious goals, as individuals often make drastic changes to their diets and exercise routines that their bodies are unprepared for and ultimately reject. However, fear not! In 2024, we bring you a concise guide with practical tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.
- Baby Steps
The first day after a highly-indulgent season of sweets and treats, most of us tend to make the change and go on a crash diet, cutting out all sources of sugar and carbs. This change is one of the biggest missteps in nutrition, as it’s very hard for the body to adapt to such drastic changes quickly, not to mention that crash dieting will only end up backfiring, as most of the weight dropped is water weight that will eventually come back. This year, try setting small, realistic goals all throughout the year. Then, you ca/n work your way up, adjusting goals based on your progress and comfort.
- Home Cooking
If you’re serious about getting your dietary habits straight, then you can’t be eating out on the daily. Restaurants tend to use more fats, sugar, and carbs in their food as they generally enhance the taste. Also, you tend to be stuck with their portions. There are numerous scientifically-proven benefits to making your own food at home. Think about it: making your own food means you know exactly what is going in; you get to control everything from taste to portion. It’s also been proven to improve mental health – and it’s way cheaper, too! So for 2024, try your hand in the kitchen more often and get cooking if you want to see good, consistent results. Which brings us to our next point…
- Meal Prep
Even though making your own food has its plethora of benefits, many people – nowadays more than ever before – are refraining from the practice, blaming lack of time. The best advice we have is: meal prep! If you don’t know what meal prepping is, it is essentially the practice of preparing an entire week’s worth (or more) of meals in one go, storing them in the fridge or freezer, and eating them as the week goes by. This might seem time-consuming, but if you do the math, you’re only cooking once a week, so you’re using and washing your equipment once, thus saving time and not having to get in the kitchen as often during the week.
- Healthy Alternatives
This goes hand in hand with our first tip.
Let’s face it: if you’re used to eating sweets and carbs on the regular, then switch to a no-sugar, no-carb diet that consists of eating salads and greens exclusively, chances are you won’t be able to sustain. In order to reach consistent results, you will need to make gradual changes, starting with finding healthier alternatives to the foods you’re already used to. For instance, try switching rice with bulgur for fewer carbs, more fibers, and more protein while keeping your taste buds relatively satisfied.
- Indulgence Is Not A Sin
Another mistake resolutioners tend to make is completely cutting off all indulgence. As convenient as it may seem, this mentality sets them up for failure, as they tend to give up the moment they have a bite of that delicious cookie they just couldn’t resist. When it comes to healthy eating, the biggest school of thought is the 80-20 ratio: 80% healthy, 20% fun. In fact, having a cheat meal (or even two) once a week can prevent your body from getting accustomed to a fixed daily intake.
- Go To Sleep
This might come as a surprise, but lack of sleep is a major issue when it comes to weight loss. Numerous studies have linked lack of sleep to increases in Body Mass Index (BMI), appetite, caloric intake, the risk of obesity (even child obesity), and insulin resistance, as well as a decrease in resting metabolism. In contrast, quality sleep (i.e. 7-8 hours) is proven to help you fight cravings and make healthy choices, not to mention that it gives you plenty of energy to exercise, which is the most important thing to do when seeking to lose weight.
Bottom line is: Go to bed, lose weight. Simple as that.
- Drink Up
You’ve likely heard the saying since childhood: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Well, guess what? It wasn’t for nothing. Drinking water is an important yet overlooked step in losing weight. It keeps you hydrated, thus preventing your body from retaining that extra water weight. It also helps you fight hunger and curb your appetite, thus preventing overeating. Water is also the fuel needed for your body to burn fat, and your kidney to detox your body.
Cheers to a healthy 2024!