It’s that time of year again.
The time of year when people make New Year’s Resolutions.
Why are they so popular?
One reason is they give us hope. Hope that in the immediate future positive change will materialize in our lives.
As we head into 2016, millions of people across the globe will pledge to (among other things) drink less alcohol, exercise more, get a better job, save more money and, of course, lose weight (what some people call a “January diet.”) In fact, according to the Statistic Brain website, losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution.
But here’s the thing…
Most people will fail miserably…
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. A study done by the University of Scranton research pegged the New Year’s resolution success rate even lower at 8%.
So before you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight starting January 1st (or 2nd), here are a few things you might want to consider…
A drastic reduction in calories each day is not sustainable – Yes, you’ll lose weight by eating say 1,200 calories a day, but once you go back to eating how you usually eat, you’ll gain the weight back over time.
Starving yourself makes you more likely to want high calorie foods – Research done at the Imperial London College found that when people diet it becomes harder to resist the temptation of food. Dr. Tony Goldstone say, “We found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier and increased the appeal of high calorie foods and the amount people ate. One reason it is so difficult to lose weight is because the appeal of high calorie food goes up.”
We sometimes use New Year’s resolutions as an excuse for “bad behavior” at other times of the year – Often we use upcoming New Year’s Resolutions to justify over indulging in December. Plus, should we fail, some people may use it as an excuse to not do anything positive until the start of the next year.
Your self confidence could take a hit – Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind says, “We chastise ourselves for our perceived shortcomings and set unrealistic goals to change our behaviour, so it’s not surprising that when we fail to keep resolutions, we end up feeling worse than when we started.” Farmer suggests that instead of making New Year’s resolutions you should “think positively about the year to come and what you can achieve.”
Here’s the thing…
Getting yourself down to healthy weight and maintaining that weight, should be part of your daily DNA. The key is to develop lifelong healthy eating habits versus just forcing yourself to diet every January.
Here are seven tips to embrace instead should you decide not to make a “weight loss” New Year’s Resolution…
1. Get plenty of sleep – According to a University of Pennsylvania study published in the journal Sleep, people who skimp on sleep are more susceptible to weight gain. Researchers found that sleep-deprived people tend to consume more calories daily than those who get a full night’s rest.
2. Try one new fruit each week – Apples and oranges are great but there are a lot of other healthy fruits out there that will delight your taste buds. Acai Berries, grapefruits, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, dragon fruit, grapes, kiwis, plums, pomegranates, avocados, papayas, raspberries, pumpkins, watermelon, pineapples while not as popular as apples and oranges, all provide you with various health and nutrition benefits. For as many weeks as you can, why not expand your horizon and try and select a new fruit to try leach week?
3. Try one new vegetable every two weeks – Fruit is wonderful but vegetables are the key to a long life. Yet 87 percent of Americans fail to meet their recommended daily intake of vegetables. If you’re not crazy about vegetables, try livening them up by combing them with other foods, grilling them or adding different seasonings.
4. Every month eliminate or cut back on food or beverages you know aren’t healthy – Products made with refined sugar, processed foods, sugary drinks, high calorie fruit juices, smoothies packed with sugar, designer coffees, muffins, donuts, diet soda, fast food are just a few of the things you might want to gradually eliminate or at least cut back in your diet. If you focus on one item a month, it won’t take too long for you to start
looking and feeling better.
5. Drink plenty of water – The common thinking used to be that you need to drink eight 8ounce glasses of water a day. But that recommendation has changed. According to an article on the WebMD website, you should drink between half an ounce and an ounce a day for each pound you weigh every day. So if you weigh 150lbs you should drink between 75 and 150 ounces of water a day. If you live in a cooler climate and/or tend to have a more sedentary lifestyle you should shoot for the higher end of that range. Keep in mind what American philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said: “Water is the only drink of a wise man.”
6. Leave high calorie foods you have a weakness for on the supermarket shelf – When it comes to food the best way to force yourself to have more willpower is to reduce your temptation. And the best way to reduce your temptation for cookies, donuts and other items that you know are fattening and you have weakness for is not to keep any in the house. This also works great if you’re trying to cut down on your alcohol consumption.
7. Think exercise – Get your body moving and your blood circulating. If you find yourself craving something go for a walk instead or head to the gym. For most healthy adults, The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity.
If you make these seven tips a habit all year round, you can’t help but to look and feel better all year round. When that happens there will be no need for you to make another weight loss New Year’s resolution when December rolls around again.
Special Thanks to Balanced Habits for this Blog. http://balancedhabits.com/