If you are going to make any New Year's Resolutions, make ones that will have purpose. It is easier to make and keep resolutions if they hold meaning for you. When your main goal is to lose weight and improve your health, you will be more likely to live up to the resolutions if they are realistic and allow you to see your progress. An effective resolution will help you make positive lifestyle changes that are long lasting and will continue to show even after the coming year has ended.
Add more fresh foods to your diet. Fresh foods contain more nutrients and are easier for the body to assimilate. Use fresh fruits and vegetables as often as possible while cooking. If you don't have the time to make things from scratch, use frozen instead of canned. Canned foods or those that are heavily processed lose their nutrients long before they reach your dinner table and they contain metals which are very toxic and store in your non-essential fat cells. If you are trying to lose weight, the goal is to get the most nutrients with the fewest calories. Processed foods are normally higher in calories and lower in nutrients. They will also take much longer to digest making the digestive system sluggish and ineffective. Fresh foods will kick start your digestive system and your metabolism.
Do your best to eat natural foods and avoid consuming highly processed foods. Many foods that are processed also contain an abundance of preservatives and additives that have little to no nutritive value. They are harder to break down and can cause stress in the digestive tract. Natural, whole foods offer many benefits for people who are trying to lose weight. If a quick pick me up is needed, fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal because they break down quickly and efficiently providing both calories and nutrients. Protein such as steak and chicken tend to utilize more calories for the breakdown, a win, win for dieting and building muscle.
Eat and Drink More!
Instead of eating three big meals a day, eat smaller amounts more frequently. Eating four smaller meals with two or three small in between meal snacks allows you to have a constant supply of energy without craving food. If you want to have one big meal each day, make sure to eat it between 1 and 4 pm. This gives you ample amount of time to work off the majority of the calories in the meal and you won't go to bed feeling uncomfortable because of leftover food in the stomach.
The second part of this is to drink more water. Water flushes toxins and will actually help your food digest better if you drink a glass before your meal. Staying hydrated is also important when you exercise or when you spend time outside.
Learn to Enjoy Your Food!
Every time you sit down to eat, make it a point to enjoy your food. Savor every bite. The longer you take to eat your meal, the sooner your stomach will signal to you that it is full. Learning to enjoy the flavors and textures will also give you a new appreciation for fresher foods. You will begin to taste more and relax while you are eating. The more a person rushes through a meal, the less they actually get out of it. Rushing stresses the digestive system and can lead to conditions like gastritis, acid reflux and ulcers that take all of the joy out of eating.
The last and possibly most important resolution is to get and remain active! Exercise as best you can. If you are just starting out, do what you can. For some, that may be walking around the block or pushing the vacuum in the house. The more you move, the more energy you will have. If you have trouble with weight bearing exercises, try water aerobics.
The key is to move, even if it is by taking small steps. Baby steps leads to bigger steps and by the end of the year, you may be doing more than you have been able to do in years. Take the initiative. Go for a walk or a swim. A few years ago I purchased snow shoes and found them great fun. You are breathing nice cool fresh air, however you stay warm with the movement. Wear flexible pants and a light hat that breaths so that you do not overheat. Snow shoes are stable low stress on the joints as the snow is soft and the shoes are large, making it easy to balance. Go to a local park after a snow storm. Snow shoeing while it is snowing is very peaceful because the snow dampens the sharp noises in the environment and you can relax. I love the snow. The more active you are, the more the other four resolutions will begin to offer a dramatic impact.
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