Staying healthy and fit is a resolution that many of us make as we enter a new year. However, very few stick to it. As the responsibilities of work and family start to overpower, our resolutions towards ourselves weaken and eventually lost.
When it comes to staying healthy and fit, the majority of time people rush into doing everything all at once, as a result, they either get burnt or over-worked. So, if staying healthy and fit is on your resolution list, then this blog is something you definitely should read.
Here, are 10 simple ways you can smoothly shift into a healthier regime and most importantly stick to it throughout the year.
1. Set Realistic Goals
One whole year passed and you have are still procrastinating your visit to the ‘gym’ or delaying starting ‘that’ diet. One reason why New Year resolutions fail is that we keep unrealistic goals. I will lose 20kgs in 2 months… ha!)
So, when you set goals for this 2020, take it slow and start small. Remember, doing something is always better than not doing anything.
Set goals that can be implemented and most importantly continued throughout the year. When it comes to being healthy, consistency is the key.
2. It’s All About Healthy Habits!
Instead of concentrating on short term goals concentrate on long term goals that will eventually turn into healthy habits. Habits once formed are difficult to change and a healthy habit is all you need for a healthy lifestyle.
Your new resolution can be as basic as cutting down sugar or drinking plenty of water, reducing junk food or simply sleeping on time and waking up early.
Every positive change you make has a tremendous effect on your health.
3. It Starts With The Food You Eat.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean restricting or giving up on your favorite foods. It is all about replacing unhealthy food with nutritious foods.
A healthy diet is not one that excludes any food group, but a diet that contains an adequate amount of food from each food group. Healthy eating doesn’t require a strict diet to be followed. Making small changes at a time is best to get you started.
Go for whole foods instead of refined or processed foods. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Keep healthy snacks handy so that you don’t crave junk food. Cut down on sugar and anything with added sugar in it should be strictly off the healthy food list.
4. Don’t Starve, EAT!
Skipping meals or going hungry for long hours doesn’t help you lose weight. Eat small, healthy meals at regular intervals.
Skipping breakfast is linked to increased chances of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The practice of eating healthy snacks between meals has been shown to help you lose weight faster, maintain sugar levels, curb cravings.
But here the emphasis is on the work healthy. Choose snacks that are healthy for you, like roasted chickpea, fruits, popcorn, trail mixes, fox nuts, nuts, dried fruits, etc.
5. Get Your Protein And Fiber
Protein and fiber are two important nutrients you need to focus on this New Year. An average adult requires 40-50gm of protein and 25-30gm of fiber per day. The requirement for protein increases in growing children, pregnant women, and athletes.
Increase protein and fiber intakes have been linked to increased immunity, improved sugar control, heart health and also better weight loss results. Several healthy snacks high in protein and fiber can be found if we look carefully. Crispea made from organic chickpea fulfills 15- 20% of your protein and fiber requirements per day.
Natural sources of protein like eggs, nuts, roasted chickpea, yogurts, milk can be some go-to foods for protein and whole-grain cereals, fruits, chickpea, and pulses are some good sources of fiber.
6. Go Green
2020 is here and now is the time to make everything green, our environment as well as the food we eat. We believe green is clean.
If you are not sure how to choose healthier foods, remember natural is always the better option. People normally have so many misconceptions when it comes to food.
For example, mothers generally refrain from feeding bananas to their children as they believe it leads to cough and cold. Well, it doesn’t. The catch here is they are totally fine with the artificially flavored drinks and colas their children drink regularly.
Nothing, absolutely nothing is healthier than natural, wholesome food. We need to evaluate how we are eating, change the way we look at food. Overcome the myths and our motto this New Year should be, more natural food as less of chemicals.
So, if you find yourself surviving more on packaged foods, meal-replacer or junk food, 2020 is the time to rectify it.
7. Reading Is Healthy
The market for snack food is quite extensive. Some of them extravagantly claim their health benefits. While some are genuinely true, others are just propaganda you need to beware of.
Everything a product claims to provide on the FOP (front of pack) can be verified by reading the information provided on the back of the pack.
For instance, the different types of snacks you find in the market, blatantly advertise their products to be free from Trans fat. However, when you look at their ingredient list you will find hydrogenated vegetable fat smugly sitting amongst the other ingredients. Hydrogenated vegetable fat is just a pseudonym for Trans fat.
Reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists help protect you from falling for the false claims and marketing gimmicks.
Not sure what to look for when reading a nutrition label?
Well, here is a quick list to help you out.
- Total Calories
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Total Sugar/Total Carbohydrates
While screening the ingredient list, make a checklist of ingredients you recognize in them. The more ingredients you recognize the healthier your snack is.
8. Sit Less, Move More!
Gyms around New Year see a lot of registrations, but four months down and 50% of people quit. We get it; a lot of things demand your time and attention. Going to the gym is a time constraint for many of us.
But hey, to be physically active you need not go to the gym.
All you have to do is sit less and move more. Walk where you can. Park your vehicle further away so that you can walk a little. If you find yourself sitting too often, make it a point to stand up in between and just stretch a little.
Rule of thumb is to get 30 min exercise 5 days a week. Design an exercise routine you can follow up at home.
The sedentary lifestyle has created a lot of havoc on our health past couple of decades, this 2020 let us resolve to change that for ourselves as well as people around us.
9. Sleep Well, Stay Healthy
Sleep is viewed as a luxury therefore, the first thing we compromise when pressed for time is sleep. Time is precious; True, but sleep is pretty precious too!
Firstly, sleeping provides the cells and tissue of the body time to recover and heal from the wear of daily living. Most of the restorative functions in the body like tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis takes place while we are asleep.
Secondly, numerous studies show that lack of sleep is linked to several serious disorders like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Depression and mood disorders are common in people who get insufficient sleep. This can be attributed to the imbalance of hormone melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for managing the circadian rhythm.
A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. So, if you start feeling drowsy at one particular time of the day, blame it on the circadian rhythm.
Now, before you snooze your alarm, sleeping for long hours is not healthy either. 6-7 hours of sleep every day is recommended to stay healthy and happy.
10. Beat The Stress
Majority of lifestyle disorders that plague us stem from the stress. Stress is nothing but a type of physical and mental tension.
Depression, anxiety, poor nutrition status, unhealthy eating habits are some reasons why stress affects some people more than the others.
Coping with stress is essential as it can delay results you are working hard to achieve.
Be physically active, practice deep breathing exercises to calm down your nerves. A good night’s sleep keeps you mentally and physically strong to cope with stressful situations at work and at home.
Limiting junk and eating nutritious food keeps your body clean and healthy which can greatly affect how you react to stress.
Disconnect from the wireless world and connect with yourself, your friends and your family. Some ‘Me’ time can help you get some perspective.
Take a break if necessary and work on having a hobby. Hobbies take the heat off by diverting your mind, keep you happy and help you relax. A mental detox is as important as physical detox.
Get Set & Go!
Making New Year resolution helps us a long way, but they only work if we carry them out throughout the year. Your resolution to stay healthy this year need not require grand efforts, start small but be consistent.
Health is defined as physical, mental and social well-being. Work on all these aspects to see a real transformation.
May this 2020 help you score a perfect hundred on your health pitch.