“NEW YEAR, New You” or so the cliche goes.
If you are keen for 2016 to be the year when you finally fulfil your health, diet and lifestyle goals, here are some good ways to get started — right now.
1. TIME FOR A SERIOUS CLEAN OUT
If it isn’t there, you cannot eat it. Research investigating eating behaviour has shown time and time again that human beings will eat, and overeat when food is easily accessible. This means that if you open the fridge and still see lashings of leftover pudding, turkey and other Christmas delights you will eat them, eventually. Take control as we move into a new year by simply cleaning out your fridge and cupboards. Give away or freeze leftovers and restock with plenty of nutritious fresh foods that will help you see in the new year on the right foot diet-wise.
2. MAKE A SOUP
It may sound a tad bizarre to be making soup in the middle of summer but the simple act of including a vegetable rich soup as part of your daily routine for a week or two will help you to drop a kilo or two quickly and safely. Not only does eating a vegie-rich soup before a meal help you to consume up to 100 fewer calories per meal but the bulk of vegies will help to get your digestive system moving and is a good reminder of how much better we feel when we are getting the minimum of 2-3 cups of nutrient rich vegies we need every day.
3. SCHEDULE YOUR TRAINING
There is no time like the present to commit to more activity. In fact holidays and summer itself are both reasons to do a whole lot more exercise, not less. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do more of it and commit to something you will stick to. Whether this be personal training sessions, regular walks or jogs with a friend, a new gym membership or a regular exercise class, exercise needs to be planned in advance and scheduled in your diary each and every week or you will never get round to it. Most importantly do it now, for the week ahead and before the start of the new year so you are planned and ready to go. And remember, consistency is the key when it comes to exercise. You are better to go once or twice a week every week than five days a week occasionally.
4. COUNT THOSE STEPS
It may sound harsh but the truth is that if you really want to improve your health you’ll need to commit to both regular exercise at least 2-3 times each week as well as getting your daily step count up to a minimum of 10,000 per day. If this sounds excessive think of it as our daily steps making up for all the time we spend sitting while exercise burns extra calories. With most mobile devices now featuring a pedometer as a standard app it is quite easy to keep an eye on the number of steps you are clocking up each day, and in fact it can actually be quite enjoyable monitoring them.
5. INVEST IN THE RIGHT DIET GUIDANCE
There are literally thousands of different diet plans and books out there currently being marketed as the answer to all your weight-related issues. Ditching sugar, going paleo, drinking only lemon water and using smoothies to achieve your dream body are just some of the popular fads of the moment. The best diet is one that is written by a qualified professional, provides ongoing support once you start it and is sustainable. So before you waste any more of your hard earned dollars on the latest best selling fad, do some research and look for an option that ticks these boxes. It may sound boring but it will be much more likely to work long term.
6. SET YOUR GOALS NOW, AND ACT ON THEM
Goals that are not clearly documented and accompanied with an action plan are basically dreams or wishes. If you are really serious about taking control of your diet, a crucial step is to clearly define where you want to be in a set time frame and develop an action plan to make sure you get there. It may be to lose 10kg by Easter, or get organised and eat well five days each week, but whatever your ultimate goal is the key is to stop talking about it and instead focus on action — what can you do right now and each day next week to help you move closer to your diet and weight loss goals?