We’ve all said it before, “Starting January 1st I’m going to get healthy!” or “I’m going to drop 20 pounds by March!” Unsurprisingly, the top New Year’s resolution is some variation on getting fit or losing weight, what’s notable is how much doesn’t stick.
- Fewer than 8% of resolutions are kept past March
- Thousands of pounds are lost, yet 90-95% gain the weight back plus some
- People spend upwards of $60 billion annually trying to lose weight through diet and gyms
So, how are you going to make this year different?
First, look at the big picture of health – weight loss should be viewed as a positive side effect of a healthier life. You don’t need to lose weight to get healthy, once you are healthy you will lose weight. This means lifestyle changes must happen to achieve overall health and I’m not talking about drastic, overnight changes. In my 25 years of experience with fitness injury, every January is exactly the same. People are pumped up and start like a bat outta hell. They take on huge diet restrictions (no fat or sugar and fewer than 1500 calories a day) and add intense exercise all while maintaining family and life responsibilities on 6 hours of sleep.
This is a recipe for disaster on so many levels because the changes are unsustainable. I know this because my office is quiet in January and February, but by March there’s a waiting list full of tendinitises and back injuries.
Here are the big do’s and don’ts I have found to help start and stick with healthy lifestyle changes.
|Eat real food: veggies, organic meats, fruits||Rely on Frankenfoods: weight loss shakes and frozen dinners|
|Eat healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil||Eat fake sugars, diet foods, and vegetable oils|
|Sleep at least 8 hours every night||Forgo sleep for extra workouts|
|Take recovery days: exercise 2-3 days in a row then take 1-2 days off||Workout every day at maximum capacity|
|Vary the type of workouts throughout the week: Cardio, strength training, yoga, balance||Do the same activity at the same intensity every day. Your body will react and adjust to change, but doing the same workout will lead to a plateau.|
|Choose activities you enjoy||Exercise you hate will never make you thin and happy|
|Exercise inside and outside. Smell the trees, feel the sun, get dirty – it’s all good for you!||Exercise through pain. Muscle burn is ok, but pain is a sign of something wrong|
Change is good, and resolutions can be a great way to initiate change. Be mindful of why you want to change and have a plan for executing it in a realistic manner. Make 2017 the first year of your new healthy life!
Check out our blog for recipes and ways to get stronger than yesterday! http://battlebornhealth.com/blog/