A New Year represents a fantastic opportunity to make the changes to your diet and lifestyle that can help you live longer.
Getting fit, eating right and making healthy lifestyle options can prolong your life – and give you the energy to live your life to the fullest.
But making permanent changes is not always easy; it requires focus, will-power and having the right information at your disposal. If your New Year’s resolution this year is to get fit and healthy, there are a few things you can do to achieve your goal.
Record your goals
What is your ultimate goal with regard to your health and fitness New Year’s resolution? Do you need to lose a specific amount of weight? Do you want to attain a level of fitness that allows you to run in a 10K?
From the very beginning of your new health and fitness regime, you should be very clear about your ultimate goal. Start a lifestyle diary, and record details of your goals in as much detail as possible. Also, make a record of where you’re starting from in terms of your weight, level of fitness and current diet.
Make an eye-catching copy of your health and fitness goals, and place it on your fridge. This will serve as a deterrent whenever you feel the need to grab a quick snack that you just don’t need.
Yes, it really is that simple. Work up a sweat for a minimum of 20 minutes, four times a week, and you should start to reap the rewards very quickly.
There are several ways to exercise effectively – the trick is finding something that works for you. Your New Year’s resolution to get fit will end in failure if you don’t like exercising, however. This means you need to find something you enjoy.
It is also important to ensure that the exercise you do is effective. If you want to burn fat, you’re going to need to put the work in. This means pushing yourself to your limits with interval training.
You can monitor your progress and ensure that you are driving your fitness levels and burning fat constantly by using the Fitbug Orb fitness tracker. This discreet device monitors your activity and the calories you burn, and then sends this data to an app on an Android or Apple device.
Remember: exercise is for life, not just for New Year!
Set a realistic timeframe for your health and fitness regime
Don’t make your timeframe too challenging, as failing to meet it – or meet interim targets and goals – could lead to you becoming despondent and simply fed up.
Most diets and fitness regimes fail because the targets people set themselves are just unrealistic. Use the New Year to change your approach to health and fitness, and look to the long term – instead of aspiring to unrealistic deadlines.
If it’s not in your fridge, you can’t eat it. If you have to take a trip to a supermarket or restaurant for your favourite treats, you have a much better chance of fighting off hunger pangs and cravings. But if your favourite foods are always in your fridge or cupboards, you might find the urge to snack irresistible.
Instead of relying on crisps, chocolate, cheese, sweets and fizzy drinks to satisfy your hunger pangs, stock up on raw vegetables, fresh fruit, bottled water, sugar-free cereal bars and lots of lean protein.
Don’t starve yourself
The worst thing you can do at the beginning of your New Year diet is to starve yourself or start skipping meals. Depriving yourself of the calories you need will send your body into starvation mode – meaning it will hold onto calories more readily. Not just that, low blood sugar levels might make you crave unhealthy foods such as chocolate, cake and pastries. The facts are simple when it comes to weight loss: consume fewer calories than you expend, and you will lose weight over time.
Of course, you also need to take into account the exercise you do, so getting the balance right between weight loss and giving your body the fuel it needs is difficult. A calorie counter can help you to monitor both your calorie consumption and the calories you burn – allowing you to find the perfect balance to meet your long-term weight loss goals.
Eat a balanced diet
It is important to monitor your calorie intake and remain within your recommended daily allowance (with the exercise you do taken into account), but depriving yourself of your favourite foods permanently is the path to failure. Treat yourself to your particular indulgences in moderation – without exceeding your calorie allowance.
In terms of the food you eat, the best advice is to follow a balanced and nutritious diet. Limit carbs and fat to no more than 20% of your daily calorie allowance. And treat lean protein as your new best friend – as it will keep you strong, energised and satisfied.
Use the New Year to make permanent changes to your life, but don’t drop the ball when your goals have been achieved. Make a healthy diet and a rigorous exercise regime a permanent part of your life, and you’ll never need to make another health-related New Year’s resolution again.
Post sponsored by Fitbug