When you set your mind to dropping a few pounds this 2018, remember to not just say or keep it in your New Year’s Resolution. You have to do it—now. But the most obvious reason for failed diets and exercises at the start of the year is that people do it too much and too fast, leading to the mind and body getting exhausted throughout the process. Chances are, you’ll quit half-way and go back to old patterns. The key to a successful fitness plan is to do it consistently and to do it for health more than anything else.
Here are non-overwhelming, simple rules to jumpstart your healthy daily habit:
Have a plan and set a realistic goal.
You have to know your body first. Check in with your doctor to determine the cause of your weight gain or if there’s any restrictions in diet and exercise that you should and should not do. Enlist the help of a fitness or gym coach if you want to have a more detailed plan from an expert, or just simply take it one step at a time. Do your research.
Eat slow and often. Drink more water.
Do you know why most French girls are so slim? It’s because they take their time to enjoy their meal with every bite. It’s a bad habit to eat while doing something else like watching TV or munching as if you’re running out of time. Take time to savor the flavors and give your stomach enough room for digestion. Additionally, drinking water is an advice that’s been said too much but not often followed.
Eat breakfast every day.
Don’t eat past 7:30 PM.
You’ve heard about the after 6PM diet, and this one is a slight variation of that. Eat enough fiber and proteins for your dinner right before 7:30 PM starts and don’t do midnight snacks thereafter. Why? According to Livestrong.com, “It’s more important to regulate your total calorie intake throughout the day, and eating nothing after a certain time of night can help you do that. If you’ve already eaten three main meals by the time 7:00 p.m. rolls around, eating anything more will add to your calorie total for the day and may result in you eating past your caloric needs. If you begin to eat more calories than you burn on a consistent basis because you continue to eat into the late hours every night, you will gradually build up a calorie surplus that will show up as weight gain.”
Eat a good balance of carbs, vegetables and protein at every meal.
Here’s a quick and easy illustration of what you should put on your plate:
Cook at home.
A home-cooked meal is a good way to know what ingredients are put in your meal and you can also regulate the amount of salt, fats, sugar, or any other culprit that may lead to too much calorie intake.
Say no to preservatives and artificial foods.
Watch what you drink!
That satisfying fizzy cola after a big lunch packs in a big calorie count, as well as that morning frappuccino you always drink during your coffee breaks. Save your alcohol for important occasions only!
Find healthy substitutes for your favorite snacks.
Ditch the potato chips and reach for veggie sticks with a low-fat dip or fruits instead.
Burn more calories than you eat food.
If you’re the type who really loves to eat, then there’s no need to deprive yourself. You can eat like you normally do (but make healthier choices), as long as you balance it out with a good cardio or strengthening session. If you hate going to the gym, try doing other fun physical activities like sports or dancing. Start by doing brisk walks in your neighborhood.
Give yourself a treat every day.
The problem with the so-called “cheat day” is that people tend to binge eat on everything on that particular day, which may overwhelm your body. The trick is to give yourself a treat daily, like eat a dark chocolate or a small scoop of ice cream.
Stress is one of the main culprits of weight gain, as studies have shown, so take time to rejuvenate yourself with a 10-minute meditation every morning or a 30-minute yoga session to clear your mind and refresh your body.
Exercise at least 3 times a week.
Don’t beat yourself up for not working out every day. You have your work and home life too, and you don’t have to compromise your time just to go to the gym. Allocate a set schedule for your workouts. Again, think what you can do consistently.
Weight loss takes time.
Quick fixes are only temporary! Don’t give in to “clickbait” diet fads, pills, tea or anything ingestible that promises fast results. It’s all about moderation and balance when it comes to food and physical activity. Every body is different. Some have faster metabolism, others don’t. Others build muscle faster, while others need more time. Recognize your body for what it is and what it can do. And give yourself credit for doing something healthy each day.
Stay positive and love yourself!
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