At the start of the year, there are plenty positive resolutions we have in mind. The most important, is taking charge of your health and setting realistic goals that are sustainable.
If you feel you need to shed a few unwanted kilos, set a real goal that you can achieve for the months to come without feeling stressed or pressurized. To lose weight healthy, set your sights on losing about 1 kilogram of weight a week; any more and you’ll be losing not just your fat but your muscle as well. Don’t forget that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will make you feel less tired and less stressed too.
Follow these simple ten golden mantras to achieve your goals comfortably this New Year.
1. Don’t cut your kilojoules dramatically: If you cut Kilojoules dramatically you’ll find yourself in short supply of protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals and all at the expense of your health. Your body needs nutrient-rich and highly oxygenated blood supply and plenty of minerals, as well as other nutrients like fats and proteins to be at its absolute best.
2. Have protein in every meal: Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, however having protein at all meal times, accelerates weight loss. It leaves you feeling full for longer and helps lower your total body fat.
Here are some suggestions.
Add quinoa or amaranth instead of rice for lunch and dinner. Add sprouts or bean salad for breakfast. Toss a handful of fresh peas in your salad or soup, with 8 gms of protein per cup. It is a great idea to snack on carrot and bell pepper sticks dipped in a yogurt dip.
With 6 gms of protein per egg and other healthful nutrients such as omega 3 that helps lower cholesterol, make eggs an essential part of the diet. Snacking on nuts and seeds is a great way to get your protein and kick start weight loss. Add almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia and flaxseeds to your diet.
3. Cut out refined carbohydrates and sugars: All refined carbohydrates break down in your body to produce sugar. This in turn will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Refined carbohydrates and sugar also make you retain water and cause bloating, which is something you especially want to avoid.
4. Say goodbye to processed food: Read the labels and avoid all additives, MSG, preservatives, artificial colors and anything you can’t pronounce. These are foods you want to completely avoid as they are full of sodium and such few nutrients that you might as well be eating the cardboard box.
5. Forgo the fried: Skip all the deep fried chips, spring rolls and your favorite junk food. It will seriously undo all your good work. The fats in fried foods are trans-fats. They increase inflammation and free radical damage.
6. Move your body: Try any exercise you enjoy such as dancing, yoga, pilates, cycling or a brisk walk. Exercise at least 4 times a week, to boost effects of a healthy diet, with added benefits of the feel good endorphins.
7. Sleep well: Sleep replenishes, rejuvenates, restores. A study in the American journal of clinical nutrition found that when people were starved of sleep, late night snacking increased and they were more likely to crave high-carb foods. In sufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Then there is cortisol, the stress hormone, that spikes when you get too little sleep. Thus, it is essential that you schedule a tleast 7-8 hours of deep restful sleep per night.
8. Hydrate your body:Pure water is the most beneficial form of liquid to consume. In winters, we generally miss out. The journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism published a study on the thermogenic effect of water, leading to a 30 percent increase in metabolism. Water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant aiding weight loss.
9. Eat early: Foods eaten earlier in the day generates more energy than food eaten later in the day. Your metabolic rate is actually higher earlier on in the day, which helps you to burn off kilojoules as energy, whereas these same kilojoules consumed at night can be easily stored as fat.
10. Add some pepper: Red pepper, when eaten early in the day decreases food intake later in the day. Some credit the ingredient capsaicin for being the catalyst for decreasing overall calorie intake and increasing metabolism.
Beginning right now, you have complete control over making healthy lifestyle choices; after all what’s better than experiencing the satisfaction of helping yourself achieving your goals.