Fresh Start: A guide to healthier living
Fresh Start: A guide to a healthier living
By Alex Hobbs, RD, LD, CLT
Happy New Year! We have entered the time of the year when gym memberships are selling like hotcakes and co-workers start bring carrot sticks instead of cookies to work. New Years resolutions are in full force, at least for now! Advertisements are encouraging everyone to become a â€œnew youâ€ and over-haul their bad habits; however, I find that you have to look in retrospect before you can start focusing on the future.
January seems to be the pinnacle moment of the year when people become so fixated on achieving their next batch of outrageous goals, that they are too distracted to notice the victories from the past 12 months. Therefore, I encourage you to look back and evaluate where you succeeded and where you needed extra motivation to improve and put those into place this coming year.
This past year was a pretty huge year for me; I went skiing for the first time (and two times after that) without breaking any bones, I snorkeled (which may seem minor, but those masks and I do not get along!), I biked several miles along the San Diego coast, I ran my first half marathon, I went horseback riding through the Malibu mountains and many other things. As I jog my memory to remember all that I have done, I must say that I am very thankful for all that my body is capable of doing. In the spirit of making resolutions it is very easy to concentrate on losing weight and wanting to look a certain way that we do not realize what we have now.
Without good health I would not have been able to partake in any of the activities I mentioned above. Instead of letting the weight loss infomercials fuel your drive towards weight loss, let the idea of living life propel you forward into the New Year. Just think about it, at the end of this year will you be reminiscing over the five or fifteen pounds that you lost or will you be patting yourself on the back for doing an activity that you never would have been able to do if you werenâ€™t in good health? Not to mention that the side effects of living a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet are weight loss and increased self-confidence. I donâ€™t know about you, but those are side effects I would love to experience!Â Do not let vanity push you to work out and change your eating habits (because that is not a real motivator), let the idea of gaining more from life inspire you! See the list below for ways to start your journey to gaining more from a healthy life!
Tips for a â€œHealthy-Me in 2014â€Â
Add Some Color to Your Life!
Aim towards eating five servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and fat and high in fiber so go hit-up the produce aisle for some fresh finds!
- Examples of what a â€œservingâ€ looks like:
1 apple, 6 baby carrots, 1 cup of lettuce, 16 grapes, 5
broccoli florets, 1small sweet potato
Physical activity not only accelerates weight loss but makes you feel so much better about yourself. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day. Sneak exercise in throughout the day by taking the stairs and parking far away from the building entrance. Already a gym member? Try a new workout class â€“ spin, Zumba, kickboxing, your options are endless!
Nix the Butts
If you are still smoking, STOP! Your lungs are not appreciating the chemicals you are inhaling on a daily basis, not to mention that exercise will be much more difficult when you cant breath!
Easy on the Booze!Â
Drink in moderation! Alcohol is metabolized as fat, therefore it has more calories than carbs or protein so take it easy! The recommend alcohol intake is 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks for men. Please keep in mind that 1 â€œdrinkâ€ is considered:
- 12 oz. beer or wine cooler
- 8 oz. malt liquor
- 5 ounces wine
- 1 shot (1.5oz) of hard alcohol
- Keep it real!
Be realistic! Donâ€™t feel that you need to go all out with exercising and a â€œperfectâ€ diet. Even if you get just a quick workout in, itâ€™s better than nothing! Donâ€™t have an all or nothing mentality because that will be more detrimental than helpful in the end!
Happy New Year, start enjoying life now!