New Year’s Resolutions are something I want to give up, but for some reason one resolution keeps nagging at me. It isn’t my usual “lose weight” resolution that I seem to fail at time and time again. This year my resolution is simply to live a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully the end result in living healthier will be some weight loss, for that is what I want to achieve. I have learned through trial and error, however…that weight loss is about much more than just the food that a person eats.
I have certain specific goals in mind that I believe will put me on a path to wellness. By living a healthier lifestyle, I can learn to make it seem almost effortless It won’t seem so much like a chore after awhile. It will simply be what I am doing because I deserve the best.
1) Drink more water. This is something that always helps me lose weight, but I seem to slack off a bit in the wintertime. I’m not as thirsty, and I don’t sweat as much. Still, it is very important to drink 6- 8 cups of water daily. Not only do you feel better, water helps your system work better all around. It helps to regulate your digestive system. I have found that many times when I think I am hungry, if I will just drink a cup of water, that “hunger” goes away. In actuality, I was really thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to always drink a cup of water when you feel hungry. If you are really hungry, water will not satisfy you.
2) Exercise at least 3 times a week. Exercise is not something I crave, but it is something that makes me feel better every single time I do it. When I do not exercise, the soreness sets into my joints and muscles. I can tell such a difference in the way I feel. I feel stiff and achy. On the other hand, when I do exercise, I feel more energetic. I feel more limber. I feel better emotionally. When I exercise, my mind is automatically more set on being healthy and eating healthier. I have found myself actually craving a salad after working out. And after burning off 400 calories, having a doughnut afterwards doesn’t seem quite so appealing, because you realize that all of your effort in working out was for nothing. Exercise helps me to stay focused on my total health. Since I am in my early 50’s, I see exercise as more important than ever. It helps keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels regulated…and that is important to me.
3) No eating past 8 pm. I love this nifty little tip, because it works! Ingesting food past 8 pm is food that will just lie in your stomach. It is the time of night when your metabolism is slowed way down…so eating is not a good idea. The times I have lost the most weight have always been during the times when I incorporated this into my plan. Most eating past 8 pm is mindless eating anyway, which usually includes snacking in front of the TV. How easy it is to plow through a bag of chips without even realizing it…not even tasting the food you are eating! Another great thing about not eating past 8 pm is that I always wake up hungry, which is good because breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
4) Eat more fruits and vegetables. This is a hard one for me. I love fruits and vegetables, but I grew up thinking they were just a side dish that you could take or leave. I want to come to think of them as the most important part of the meal. I want to start eating from a plate that is ½ vegetables with just a tiny piece of meat beside it…instead of vice-versa. Fruits and vegetables are so good for you. They have antioxidants which help prevent you from getting sick. In the New Year I plan to incorporate more vegetables into my life.
5) Eat more protein and fiber. Protein and fiber work together to keep you from feeling hungry. Not only that, protein helps build muscle mass and fiber is essential for good digestion. It is recommended that women receive approximately 26 grams of fiber daily. Making protein and fiber a more important part of my daily eating will help me feel better, be healthier, and lose weight.
These are the top 5 ways I plan on having a healthier 2009. In the process, hopefully I will lose some weight along the way.