New Year, New You!

With the New Year comes the opportunity for a fresh start. Yes it’s that time again where most of us come up with all those New Year’s resolutions. Losing those extra pounds and getting fit is probably on top of the list for most of us.

Now instead of making ridiculous unobtainable changes to your eating routine that you won’t be able to keep up with, I thought I’ll share a few tips and tricks with you that might make it easier to stick too. 

1.Set Goals

Goal setting is very important if you want to succeed with your new healthy lifestyle. However instead of coming up with one big goal of perhaps losing a big chunk of weight, I suggest you set yourself smaller weekly goals. When you focus on one big goal it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Naturally, most of us expect changes overnight, which of course isn’t the case and surely not realistic.
So when those miracles don’t happen a lot of people get demotivated and give up.
When you set smaller weekly goals however it is much easier to stick to them. Work on changing habits and implementing small changes on a weekly basis.

2. Find Your Motivation

What is motivating you to lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes, feel more energetic, or simply improve your health? Get clear about what you want, and then use that to inspire you throughout your journey. Set yourself visual reminders that will help you to stay on track when you’ve had a rough day.
For instance hang up a photo where you really like yourself. That doesn’t necessarily mean a picture of a slimmer or fitter you but a picture in which you were really happy and had a positive mindset. Stick that photo onto your fridge, bathroom mirror, laptop or screensaver so you get a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve. 

3. Have a Plan

This is very important. Simply if you don’t have a plan you won’t be able to stick to your goals. Plan your weekly activities, workouts and your daily food. If you don’t plan ahead with regards to your food and you don’t have meals prepared, the chance that you succeed is fairly small. For instance if you come home after a long busy day, hungry and tired, with no food in the fridge you most definitely will end up eating any thing in sight. This is where most of us will snack on fast foods or sugar loaded refined carbohydrates that we might find in the cupboard.
Also, plan for bumps in the road. Use a food journal to keep track of what you eat and have a support system in place. When things get tough and you are feeling a little low it’s important to have someone there that will keep you accountable.

Not sure where to start in the new year and what changes to make? Start of with including these simple steps.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
More fruits and veggies mean more fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, plus more flavour and colour added to your meals. Remember, when you’re adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, you can choose from fresh, frozen, or dried varieties—just remember to buy items without added sugar, oil or salt. Think natural foods.

Get started: Aim to add 2-3 different vegetables to every main meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For example start the day with an omelet that’s loaded with a variety of different veggies. Think protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Add spinach, kale and other veggies to your smoothies. Aim for 2-3 veggies and max 2 fruits for your smoothies. Choose fruits that are lower in sugar such as berries, citrus fruits, and avocado.
Remember every extra bit counts!

Eat Fat, Lose Weight
I think most of you know by now that you must eat more healthy unsaturated fats such as Omega 3.
Unsaturated fats decrease inflammation in our bodies, which is linked to lower disease risk and are boosting the immune system.

Get Started: Aim for at least 26 grams of healthy fat each day.
Start by eating more salmon, and top your salad with different nuts and seeds instead of shredded cheese. Eat more avocados. Use the tasty fruit to add to your smoothies or as a salad topper or omelette partner. 

Pump Up Your Protein in the Morning
Most people skip breakfast or just grab a bowl of sugar-loaded cereal or muesli, which isn’t healthy, or nutritious and surely wont help you to reach those goals.
Protein helps you to feel full for longer, helps to build lean muscle mass and keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Many studies show that people who eat protein for breakfast lose weight (fat) much faster than those who don’t.

Improve Your Culinary Skills
Cooking doesn’t need to be boring, complicated or time consuming.  Perhaps invest in cooking classes, cook books or look up recipes online that you might like - anything that inspires you to improve your skills. Invite friends over and make an evening of it. Cook together and have fun trying new things.

Design a Health-Encouraging Kitchen
Who wants to cook in a dirty, cluttered or disorganised kitchen? Cleaning up your food prep and storage areas is a great way to promote healthy eating. When healthy foods are accessible and easy to create, you're more likely to consume them.


This article was written by Stephanie Pech, a Dubai based Nutritionist & Health Coach.
For more information on her coaching programs and cooking classes go to www.stephaniepech.com and follow her on Instagram @stephanie.pech

 

Gary Blowers