Credit: Mayo Clinic News Network
When the clock strikes midnight on a new year, people across the globe abandon their favorite snacks and guilty pleasures in favor of chasing a healthier lifestyle. Weight loss doctors receive an influx of patients wanting to make a change—be it through diet, exercise or supplements.
These health professionals tell clients time and time again that the best results are yielded from a combination of all three. Dr. Dale Eubank of Advanced Weight Loss in Corpus Christi, Texas, swears by moderation, slowly increasing goals, and not depriving yourself. It leads to happier, and more long-term weight loss.
Though we are two weeks into the new year, here are some resolutions to keep in mind for yourself while setting your health goals.
1. Put a limit on your cookie intake
Many of us came out of the month of December with massive amounts of sugar, chocolate chip, oatmeal, or any other type of cookie packed away in our cabinets. It is all too easy to walk by a plate and grab a sweet treat, then another, and another until eventually you’ve had a dozen on your own before. Who can say what the number will be by eight at night?
Break the habit and limit yourself. Instead of having one every fifteen minutes, consider having one every hour (or less, if you’re feeling risky).
2. Eat more prunes
Prunes as well known to have a positive impact on the body. Their natural sugar content provides an excellent energy boost, they are a great source of vitamins, and their high levels of fiber promote great digestive health, which equals better metabolic health, and can lead to more weight loss. So stock up on these fruits!
3. Try a juice cleanse
Many sources have reported that juice cleanses are a great jumpstart to weight loss, because our bodies can more quickly digest a liquid. Grab yourself a container of apple juice, buy a shake, and pour yourself a beer, because you’re on the path to weight loss.
…Or maybe just put a number of healthy vegetables and fruits in a blender to make yourself a healthy, nutritious smoothie.
4. Try the Paleo Diet again
The paleo diet is one of the most popular diets right now. It focuses on foods that are high in protein and fiber, but low in carbs. The goal is to eating food our ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago—which, in turn, restricts your bread and grain intake. Millions of people have tried it, and millions of people have failed. So why not try again? It’s an effective diet, and they do say “third time’s the charm.” Who tries “lifestyle changes” to their diets anyway?”
5. Plan every single meal
By having your meals planned out, it is far easier to stick to a food schedule. You waste less, save time and money, and can count calories more efficiently. You eliminate the indecisiveness that ultimately leads you to drive to a fast food restaurant for dinner.
But don’t stop at planning out your meals for the week. Plan out your meals for the month—for the year, even. Leave no wiggle room. Know what you’re going to have for every meal every single day.
6. Get off the couch every once in a while
We’ve all sat in front of the television from morning to night watching a new favorite show. Though it may come as a shock to some, it isn’t exactly the healthiest habit. Getting up and going for a ten minute walk once a day can astronomically improve one’s health. Instead of watching 10 hours of television, maybe just watch nine. With all these streaming services available to us, we no longer have to worry about missing an important part of the show. If you press pause to walk around the block, your show will still be there when you get back, and you can resume as if nothing happened.
7. Weigh yourself after every meal
Know how much your weight fluctuates in real time by weighing yourself after every meal. If you ate too much at lunch, it will show, and you can compensate by eating less at dinner. Bring a scale to work to help keep yourself accountable. If you have a break, weigh yourself. Weigh yourself after returning from the restroom. Make sure you know how much you weigh at all times.
8. Sleep as much as possible
Your body conserves the energy it can during states of wakefulness, which is often done through the retention of fat. In sleep, we burn off that excess. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep makes people more likely to skip the gym and binge on fatty comfort foods. People who sleep better not only have more natural energy, but are more likely to make better health-based decisions.
So, don’t stop at seven, or eight, or even nine hours of sleep. Go the extra mile and get at least 18 hours of sleep. Your metabolism will run more smoothly, making weight loss all the more easy.
9. Grunt more at the gym
When we’re at the gym, we working hard to get the best results in as little time as possible– but there is so much more that could be done to help us reach out goals. Adding a loud grunt at the end of each rep of weights will not only help expel more calories, but will help with breathing and letting the other gym-goers know that you are serious about your fitness goals.
10. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Getting in shape is difficult—if it wasn’t, we would all walk around in the best shape of our lives. Any progress in the right direction is better than no progress at all. A healthier you is vastly more important than the number on the scale. Remember that as you work towards your fitness goals. You are doing better than you were before.