When it comes to making new years resolutions, health improvements always seem to feature highly on people’s lists and often include things like quitting smoking or cutting back on drinking. But weight loss in particular seems to be a popular choice when it comes to self improvement for the coming year. However with statistics revealing that just 8% of resolution-makers achieve their goals, it seems that sticking to your promises can be easier said than done – this is often because we set ourselves unrealistic targets. If you are serious about losing weight in 2015 then they key is make changes that you can easily work into your lifestyle and stick to on a daily basis. Don’t vow to cut out all carbs or lose 40lb by the end of January – it’s unlikely to happen and will leave you feeling disheartened. Here are some easily achievable diet and lifestyle resolutions to start you off on your weight loss journey for the new year.
If you are one of the 31 million Americans that skip breakfast in the morning because you believe you’re cutting out calories or are simply short of time, then this is a bad eating habit that you need to change in 2015. Research shows that skipping breakfast makes your more hungry and likely to snack, nibble or binge throughout the rest of the day. Essentially fasting for this amount of time also means that your metabolism is slowed right down and therefore your body is unable to break down fats successfully. Get up an extra 15 minutes earlier and start your day with high fibre breakfast of oatmeal, bran, wholegrain toast or fruit to set you up with stable, regulated blood sugar and energy levels that will see you through til lunchtime and keep you feeling full on fewer calories.
Totally turning your diet around can feel like a daunting prospect and it can be difficult to know where to begin. Take baby steps by planning meals in advance. This can be made easier by having designated days – for example Friday Fish Day, Monday Carb Day and so on. You could also color coordinate your days so that on a purple day you eat aubergine, plums and blackberries. This sort of theme is likely to grab the kids attention and encourage them to eat well too. You can also have designated ‘treat days’ so as not to completely deprive yourself. This is a good way of maintaining control over your general eating habits.
Drink more water
Becoming dehydrated can affect your mood and concentration levels so it is always important to drink a lot of fluid. However drinking water can act as a helpful tool in weight loss. Research indicates that replacing carbonated, alcoholic and caffeine based drinks with water instantly cuts out hundreds of calories from your daily intake and water also makes you feel fuller for longer meaning that when it comes to mealtimes you won’t over indulge. Water can also speed up metabolism and help with detox so if you aren’t already getting your recommended 2 litres a day then now is the time to increase the h20 in your diet.
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and ‘going to the gym more’ is another popular resolution. The key to sticking to your fitness resolutions is making them enjoyable so decide what form of exercise is going to be most fun and achievable for you. If you don’t like the pressure of the gym then simply get out and walk more. If you are self conscious around others then invest in some workout DVD’s or fitness consoles that you can do from the privacy of your own home. Set yourself targets and schedules that factor in exercise so you know exactly when you will be taking time out to work out and where possible get yourself an exercise buddy – walking, jogging or taking part in classes can be more reassuring and fun with a friend. You will also be less likely to quit if you are in to together as you won’t want to let the other person down.
Start a vegetable garden
It might sound like a big ask, especially for those who aren’t particularly green fingered, but starting a spring vegetable garden could be the perfect way to compliment a healthy diet and lifestyle. Not only will you be growing healthy, organic produce but the very act of gardening is exercise in itself – bending, digging, carrying and so on. Spend the colder months planning your vegetable garden and researching the type of crops you’d like to grow. You could even make a start on winter vegetables such as onions and squashes. Research shows that people who grow their own food tend to have healthier diets so starting this new pastime for the new year could be a great way to gradually learn to eat better. You will take pride in your produce and will be less likely to give up on your healthy eating when you have put in the hard work into growing your own food.