As the New Year approaches, New Year’s resolutions begin to be thought out. The most common resolution we all gravitate towards is to “lose weight”. Gyms and fitness centers will be buzzing with new members on January 1, who will try to accomplish their goals of “losing weight” in a few weeks. That is unrealistic.
As a teenager, I’ve struggled with weight issues for a while. It was until a few years ago that I thought losing weight was impossible. I would try for a few weeks and give up. But what I didn’t realize is “losing weight” isn’t only about shedding the pounds, but changing the way you live to accommodate a healthy lifestyle.
Dieting will not get the results you desire. You need to change your eating habits and make time for exercise in order to obtain your goal.
I found myself changing the way I eat, along with increased exercise and now, three years later, I’ve lost more than thirty pounds and I feel better than I ever have. The following are a few tips and tricks to get you started for the new year.
1. Resist the urge to eat “out”. Eating the majority of your meals at home will save you money, as well as give you control over what you are eating.
2. Make half your plate fruits and veggies. Your body metabolizes simple carbs like fruits and veggies easier, giving you more energy without the gross feeling after eating snack foods, such as potato chips and pretzels.
3. Be sure you are getting enough protein. Many people think that you need to be vegetarian or vegan to be considered healthy. That is a matter of preference, but as an omnivore that humans naturally are, be sure you are eating a serving of protein with each meal. This can consist of a six ounce cup of Greek yogurt, a palm size hand full of almonds, a chicken breast, or even a serving of fish. Whenever possible, try to get lean meats such as turkey and chicken, 90% lean beef, and lean cuts of pork.
4. Make time to exercise. “I don’t have time” is not an excuse you are allowed to use. Use exercise time as relaxation time. A nice brisk walk in your local park or a swim in the community pool are relaxing activities everyone can do. If you can, a membership to a gym or fitness club is always a good option. Use the time there to catch up on your favorite TV show through the Netflix app on your phone or read a book while you ride the bike. ((I watch Sleepy Hollow and Dancing With The Stars on the elliptical)). Make exercise fun too. Play games with the kids you babysit or join a sport at school. ((I’m on the swim team, and it’s the best exercise I can get)) Sports are a social and physical activity and can make each day better.
4. Allow yourself time. Losing weight and getting fit don’t happen over night. You need to commit to your goal and keep working towards it, because it is attainable. It took me three years, and I lost weight in a healthy way. Losing weight too quickly, especially through crash dieting, can lead to gaining it back quickly. No one wants to waste all of the time and effort that goes into losing weight.
5. Set an attainable goal. Start with losing 3 pounds. Once you reach the goal, you can reward yourself. Maybe buy that pair of shoes that you’ve wanted. Do not use food as a reward. Food is to fuel your body, not to reward yourself.
6. Start slowly. It’s hard to quit eating what you want cold turkey. Try replacing your favorites with healthier options. Instead of potato chips, grab a handful of grapes or carrots. Make small switches and eventually you will have made a transition to a healthier you.
I hope you find this helpful! Just remember that 2015 is a chance for you to become the person you want to be. Don’t give up on your goal. More to come, including recipes and workout tips, along with helpful beauty tips and DIYs!