Article by Sally Jang
As another page of the 2017 calendar turns, many are reflecting upon their first month of striving to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. One common category of resolutions is fitness and promising to achieve a fitter and healthier lifestyle. But wait. Wasn’t that your resolution last year as well?
Staying fit is often a complete pain in the neck, but this is mostly the case only if you are pushing too hard. Crash dieting and overexercising won’t lower your weight or improve your wellbeing in any sustainable sense. Instead, it’s often best to take it slow, and to focus on changing your lifestyle instead of your short term habits. Here are some tips for you to help you keep up with your fitness goals this year, and for good!
- Take the add-reduce challenge: “Adding in really works, taking away never does,” says registered dietitian David Grottosays registered dietitian David Grotto.
- Remember that you don’t get bellies for eating the right food three times a day, and neither for eating moderate amount of the food that you love. Your weight adds for eating on those deliciously bad munchies and crunchies in between meals, anytime you are not hungry, and when you are depressed. But believe it or not, the best way to get out of this bad eating habit is not to deduct but to add more healthy foods. Sudden withdrawal from the food you really love won’t help you because this only puts your body into a deprived mood. You should start your diet on track by slowly substituting the bad food you love with the good food that you also love. You might be surprised with how much better your body will feel without as many unhealthy foods, and how delicious their healthier replacements can be!
- Add on your drinks: Instead of cutting out soda, replace them by adding healthier alternatives such as teas, soy milk, real fruit juices, or even just water. This is a great way to lessen your intake of sugar and chemicals found in soda. According to Malia Frey, a weight loss expert, “Dropping a daily large Coca-Cola from McDonald’s completely (if you drink about one per day) would result in reducing your annual calorie intake by over 200,000 calories — or about 60 pounds — in one year. Replace that soda with water and overcome obesity!”.
- Add on your food: A hamburger has 499 calories; a small order of fries has 230 calories; and a bar of candy has 210 calories, but these are your favorite foods. Don’t try to completely go cold turkey on them. Just lessen your intake of these unhealthy and high-cholesterol foods by replacing frequent consumption of them with healthy snacks such as fruits, or hummus and vegetables.
- Add on your exercise: “Forget about workouts,” says Grotto. Strenuous workouts work well to those with athletic build, but for normal people who struggle to get even get themselves to the gym, the idea of being drenched in sweat at the end of every workout can be very demotivating. Try activities that interest you instead. Ride a bike, go for a hike, wash the car, play your favorite sports, or try a spin class. All of these daily workouts are great options to bump up your heart rate throughout the day.
Whatever is on your New Year’s Resolution list, a healthier year is not impossible with passion, achievable goals, and the right amount of discipline. Adding more to your day or onto your plate instead of deducting may seem a new concept, especially in the dieting industry, but there is no shortcut in staying healthy. The best way to achieve sustainable well being is to add before reducing. Good luck!