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So you made a New Year’s resolution to be healthy and lose weight… just like last year… and the year before and before…
How can you make this year different? How can this year be the year it sticks?
I didn’t start my healthy lifestyle in the beginning of the New Year, but I find myself in a new place as 2018 begins. Having been out of the gym restricted from any cardio activities since before Halloween 2017 due to an almost tear to my Achilles’ tendon, I’m carrying a little extra cushion let’s say than I’ve been used to the past few years. That along with all of the yummy eating the past few weeks during the holidays, I find myself needing to crack down on my own lifestyle.
So, here is some advice if you have just made a resolution for the New Year. It’s not easy, but it is possible. And, don’t forget, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
1. Kickstart with a cleanse
A week long cleanse will do the body good and mentally prepare you for your new healthy lifestyle. I began with the cabbage soup diet (a serving of cabbage soup for lunch and dinner). It’s a little drastic, but it does help to get you in the healthy mindset.
2. You need the right tools
Water bottles, workout clothes, Tupperware for meal prep, good sneakers, some at home workout tools… to be successful in anything, you need the right tools. A healthy lifestyle and weight loss are not exceptions. You need to provide yourself with the necessary tools in order to find success.
3. A Gym Membership and Workout Schedule
Yes, it’s cliche. Yes, the gym is packed in January. Be the person who doesn’t give up come February.
You should figure out when the best time to workout will be. Do you have time in the morning or at night? Before work or after? On the weekends?
Your regular daily schedule is going to have to change. You might have to wash your hair more frequently a week than before, but working out is important and it is easier when it is part of your daily plan.
4. Get rid of the junk
Whether you give it away or throw it away, your cabinet cannot be full of chips and cookies and your freezer should not be full of ice cream (unless you have little ones or others living with you who are not dedicating themselves to a healthy lifestyle and/or weight loss).
Also, juice. I’m sorry, most juice is full of sugar. It’s gotta go.
I threw it all in the garbage. If you can’t resist that late night snack or anytime snack for that matter, then don’t have it available. Go for fruit, water, something like that instead.
It might feel like throwing away money so give it away if you must, but just get it out of the house.
5. Educate yourself and do some research
You need to know a few things:
-realistic goal weight
-how many calories a day should you be eating
-how many calories should you be eating in order to lose weight (at 5’2 I would have to eat 1200 to 1400 calories in order to lose weight healthily).
-which foods and drinks are actually healthy?
This last one is interesting. Many things that I assumed were healthy and good for me actually were not. In fact, some things were causing me to gain weight (hummus!). Serving sizes are very important to know as well. Pay close attention to the nutritional labels and don’t ignore the serving sizes!
6. Develop a meal plan
Plan those meals and snacks ahead of time. Meal prep more, eat out less. Cut out the alcohol, drink more water. When are you going to have your snacks? When will you have your cheat meal this week?
7. Don’t ignore your mental well-being
Part of being healthy is being happy. Don’t ignore your emotions as you make this big life change. Still do things that make you happy. Those things might no longer include your favorite treats, but they might include getting you nails done, seeing a show, going places with friends, going shopping,… the list could go on, but don’t ignore your mental well being as you make these big changes.
Your body needs to be well rested in order to function. The saying “you can’t burn the candle from both ends” holds true here. Get sleep.
9. Broaden your healthy community
You should not isolate yourself or feel alone during your healthy lifestyle changes. Whether those you live with or you significant other jump on board with you, your best friend joins the gym with you, or you broaden your social media by following fitness people and pages, you should be sure that you are part of a health and fitness community.
10. Be realistic
It isn’t going to happen in a week or two or even in a month. In fact, for some people, it can take years to achieve their health and fitness goals. Don’t give up come the end of January if you aren’t seeing the results yet that you expected. At most, I lost a lb to a lb and a half a week. Almost three years later and I still have health and fitness goals I’m working towards.
It is a lifestyle, not a crash diet.
It all might sound overwhelming, but you need to remember that you are doing this for you. I always hear people say things like “new year, new me!” Unfortunately though, you don’t get “a new me.” You only get one “me” which is why it’s so important to make sure that one “me” is as healthy and happy as possible.
So, whether you are reading this post at the beginning of a new year or anytime in between, no time is better than today to take on a healthy lifestyle.
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Thanks for reading!
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