Resolution Redo: Five Things You Can Do To Get Back On Track Today!
Well, it’s that time of year again; the time when our News Year’s Resolutions begin to fizzle and we find ourselves falling back into our old familiar habits. THIS was supposed to be the year, but here we are again right back where we started on December 31st. We feel frustrated and defeated by the stagnant turn of events and are in need of a Resolution Redo! We all want to stay on track and feel good in our skin, but sometimes life seems to get in the way and our old habits come creeping back.
What we eat and how much of it definitely affects our fitness goals and ultimately how much we weigh. During the holidays most of us find ourselves falling into some pretty bad habits; think of all the cream horns, truffles, and champagne you downed during that time. (Oh, was that just me?) We also tend to let our new gym membership fall by the wayside by this point, or continue to do the same mundane exercise routine that we started with 3 months ago without much effect. Sometimes we just need to put a little more effort into our daily choices and have a more organized plan of action.
Here are five things you can do today to help shed post-holiday weight and start to get back on track with your behavior goals. Soon you will be feeling fit and fabulous in no time!
1: Drink lemon water every day.
Start your day with a glass of lemon water by squeezing a couple of wedges into a glass and filling it with ice cold water. Not only is it refreshing and hydrating for your body, it aides in digestion and cleanses the system.
Lemon water also helps to fight bloat during the day, as it is a natural diuretic and also helps to curb your appetite. The toxin-fighting lemon also packs a wallop of vitamin C, which we all could use more of this time of year. In short, lemons are amazing. What more do I need to say?? Start drinking lemon water today!
2. Increase you veggie intake.
Nothing packs the nutritional punch that veggies do! Try to get as many into your day as possible by adding them into every meal. Don’t like vegetables? No problem! You can hide them in your morning smoothie. If you have never tried it this is a fantastic way to add vitamin-rich foods to your day without even tasting them! Simply throw a little kale and/or baby spinach into the blender along with your fruits and protein powder; you will never even know they are there. If you do have a pallet for veggies, replace some of your non-nutritive snacks with carrot sticks, pepper slices, or cauliflower with low fat dip or hummus. The more veggies you put into your day the more satisfied you will feel, and you will begin to see the pounds drop off in no time!
3. Change the intensity of your workout.
If you have been doing the same type of cardiovascular exercise for several months without changing any aspect of it, you are more than likely not seeing any major results. Steady-state exercise is great, but if this is all you are doing you might want to spice things up a bit. If results are what you are looking for, look no further than High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. This type of workout helps you to burn additional calories and supercharge your metabolism and overall endurance in a shorter workout session.
With HIIT, you are interchanging between a mild to moderate movement and a burst of higher intensity that lasts anywhere from 15-30 seconds (or more) with a total workout time of 10-30 minutes. How many bursts you do and how intense they are depends on a person’s fitness level and experience. You can utilize this strategy with anything you are doing; walking on the treadmill, running outdoors, riding a stationary bike, or using a step bench. Simply add a couple of “bursts” to your workout and see how you do; you can then add more as time goes on. Interval workouts can be added 1-3 times a week to spice up your exercise routine; however, take it slow and always get a doctors approval if you are new to exercise or if you have any medical issues.
4. Eat your largest meal in the middle of the day.
The Europeans do it, and overall they are much slimmer and healthier than most Americans. Eating your largest meal in the middle of the day just makes sense; you are most active during the day and therefore have plenty of time to burn off those excess calories. You will also feel more satisfied and most likely will not have that 2pm crash at the office anymore. By the time you are ready for dinner, a smaller, simpler meal will usually suffice; think salad, yogurt and berries, or one of those smoothies I mentioned in tip number two. This can shave off tremendous amounts of excess calories, especially when you think about the 7-8 hours of “fasting” your body goes through every night after your last meal. Try this a few days a week and you will soon wake up seeing and feeling a difference!
5. Be more mindful.
Being mindful is simply being more aware of what is happening in the present moment; taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and taking in the here and now. Being mindful is all about being aware of what you are thinking, feeling, and doing right now and possibly asking yourself “why”. This not only helps you to slow down a little during the day, but also helps when you are trying to understand yourself in the midst of behavior change. Being mindful can help us to make better choices. If we really “think” about our level of hunger and why we are reaching for a certain type of food, we might make a different choice. People often use this technique when they are trying to break a bad habit; being more mindful of why they smoke a cigarette, what makes them stressed, or why they avoid exercise. It can shed some light on why we have certain behaviors, and in turn, it helps us to change them and start adopting new ways of “being”. It all begins with mindfulness.
The Bottom Line
Remember, it’s not about doing everything all at once; don’t bite off more than you can chew, literally! Take small steps towards changing your behavior by choosing 1 or 2 of these suggestions to work on. After you feel comfortable with those, try adding more. Coming up with a plan of action and writing down each new goal is an excellent strategy for successful change, and will certainly help push you back on track allowing you to “redo” your resolution. Whatever you do, just be sure to put a little effort into yourself; you are worth it! Have a happy 2015!