New Year, New You: Give Your Health a Makeover with these Four Easy Steps!
Are you thinking… it’s 2020 but do I even bother to try again?
One of the most popular New Year goals is to become healthier. Sadly, as with a lot of our resolutions, we often end up giving up a few weeks in. So instead of the usual drill of starving ourselves and working out like a mad woman, only to be overwhelmed or discouraged quickly here are a few realistic and actionable tips to help you succeed in your goals this 2020.
Focus on adding
When trying to lose weight, we often focus on what we can’t do, what we can’t eat, and the things we need to remove from our lives. Unfortunately, the more we forbid ourselves, the more we think about the things we are not supposed to have or do, and the more we are drawn to them. This year, start by focusing on the things you will add to your routine instead of frustrating yourself to the point of giving up. For example, focus on adding greens, fruits and whole foods. As you grow the habit of eating healthy food, you will slowly displace most of the unhealthy food in your diet. List all the things, big or small you will add to your life and routine and focus on them. Some of these could be drinking an additional glass or two of water every day, eating a salad before meals, having a fruit for snacks etc. More than trying to restrict your calories, focus on eating healthier. Starving yourself is not sustainable, being healthy is a lifestyle that you must aim for.
Once you have incorporated healthy food items and habits into your routine, you can slowly substitute unhealthy food that you still regularly eat. For example, you can swap white rice and white bread for brown rice and whole grain bread. For sugary drinks, you can try lemon water instead. This way, you are not.
Stress is related to gaining weight because of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol signals the body to self-preserve by increasing the appetite and causing the body to store fat. For this reason, avoiding prolonged and chronic stress is very important to keep our bodies healthy. Make sure to allot sufficient time for rest. Make sure you get 6-8 hours a day for sleep, and allow yourself to have enjoyable activities to help you unwind after work like hobbies, meditation and the likes.
Do not underestimate exercise
You may have heard of the saying that a healthy body is made 80% in the kitchen and 20% in the gym. While it is true that physical activities usually cannot burn a huge amount of calories to make you lose weight quickly, it is still important. Diet can help you lose weight, but exercising regularly will help you maintain your weight because it will correct your metabolism. Relying solely on diet will cause you to lose weight up to a certain point, but it will be a struggle from there to keep the weight off unless your metabolism is corrected. Exercising also has other benefits like increasing stamina, toning muscles, and alleviating one’s mood.
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