Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year and Six Tips for Healthy Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! Can you believe it's 2012? Let's hope those Mayans are wrong about that whole end of the world craziness.

Have any resolutions up your sleeve? I'm joining about half of America and commiting myself to a healthier lifestyle. You know, exercising and eating right. Good things to do.

Since our vacation in late September, I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon in terms of working out and eating a reasonable amount of calories in one day. Realizing you've gained 15 pounds in just three short months is quite the motivation.

This isn't my first time to try and conquer a healthier lifestyle. Although I certainly haven't perfected it, and I'm no expert- here are my six tips for keeping those healthy new year's resolutions.

1. Crash diets work. For a little bit. But by the time you're done with it, you're so hungry and eager to get back to eating real food that (if you're like me) you gain it all back and then some. For long term changes, just don't do it. Please. Just don't.

2. Community works. Get a workout buddy. Join a free site like SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is my current favorite. They have a great iPhone app that let's you track your eating and workouts on the go. It's super easy to use, has a ton of neat features like a bar code scanner, and let's you connect with and encourage friends. For me, it's been the best thing to keep me accountable as well as show me how working out really makes a difference. My favorite part is at the end of the day, when you're finished tracking, the app will tell you: "If every day were like today, you'd weigh X lbs. in 5 weeks." So motivating. Have I sold you yet?

3. Plan ahead. Do things, like  meal planning and packing your lunch. Seriously. Eating out for lunch can kill my healthy eating attempts. If eating out is required, do your research ahead of time. Many restaurants post their nutritional information online, so do your research ahead of time and know what you're going to order before you go. Trust me, it helps.

4. Be realistic. If you haven't been going to the gym at all, don't make your resolution be that you'll go to the gym 7 days a week. I mean, c'mon, who really wants to go to the gym that much? You're just setting yourself up for failure. Start small. Perhaps plan on just twice a week at first and then work your way up. You'll feel so much better.

5. Don't deprive yourself. The more you tell yourself you can't have something, the more you're going to want it. So don't make any foods completely off limits. If you want some cake, eat the cake! Try having a smaller piece, or getting in some extra time at the gym.

6. If you screw up once, don't scrap the whole thing. Everyone stumbles occasionally, but that's not the time to give up! Sometimes that entire box of chocolate on a super stressful day is just too irresistible for even the strongest of will powers. Just pick yourself back up and start again. It's better to make a goal and keep it 9 out of 10 days than to never make one at all, right?

That's all I got. Got any more tips for me?

p.s. I'm taking tomorrow off to spend time with our family, but I'll see you all again on Tuesday!

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