Health resolutions for the New Year are always promising and full of hope until you run into that first setback. From there, it becomes easier and easier to backslide until you end the year losing more ground than you gained.
The reason for this?
People often aim too high, setting loftier health resolutions in place before they have the mental resolve to actually go after them. In that spirit, I’ve has put together five New Year’s Health Resolutions for the rest of us.
These are simple things that can make a huge impact on the amount of weight and inches that you lose in 2016.
1. Resolve to count calories and food journal.
There are many diets out there that are effective in their own way, but only if you stick with them. Unfortunately, most people do not, and their failure to successfully follow a diet plan leads them to gaining more weight “on” the diet than if they had left it alone.
Counting calories is a tried and true way to meet yourself where you currently are. By not reducing your way of life, and instead doing a better job of monitoring it and practicing moderation, you can start shedding weight immediately without overdoing it or forcing yourself into a scheme that doesn’t work.
2. Wear a pedometer.
Many New Year’s health resolutions hit the proverbial brick wall because dieters/calorie counters mistakenly think they have to engage in tons of high-impact exercises to see any real results.
Setting lofty workout goals will, more often than not, do more harm than good. As with diet plans, it is easy to get discouraged when you start failing to meet those rigorous standards.
By donning a pedometer and logging your steps, movements, and exertion throughout the day, you can get in more exercise — and burn more calories — than you think.
But it’s important to know how you’re doing or else you may be giving yourself too much credit.
3. Focus on incremental improvements.
It’s been said that 10,000 steps per day is the ideal to which every healthy person must work. This is false. According to a previous report from LiveScience, 10,000 steps per day is basically a marketing construct from 1960s Japan.
The reality is that you just need to end each day doing better than you did the last. Incremental improvements add up quickly when you make a habit of them, changing your outlook and your outcome.
4. Eat before 6:30 p.m.
If you live the normal “9-to-5” lifestyle, eating between the times of 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. will give you time to work off a little of what you ate before bed.
It can also help you get better sleep, which carries with it a variety of additional health benefits.
5. Embrace the midnight snack, with stipulations.
Midnight snacks sound like terrible ideas (and counterproductive to No. 4), but they can actually be beneficial if you’re being responsible with them and incorporating the calorie counting suggested above.
If you do have a midnight snack, make sure that it’s not heavy on calories. Find something that you enjoy and, in moderation, consume it only if you have the calories that you can play with at the end of the day.
And remember, the keyword is “Midnight.” If you’re in danger of going over calories for the day, wait until then to have it, and try to make the necessary adjustments to your calories and exercise for the day ahead.
To incorporate all this, it’s recommended that you download Lose It! or MyFitnessPal, and never miss a day of entering calories/results from your pedometer or pedometer application. If you do, it becomes too easy to miss another and another.
Which New Year’s Health Resolutions do you find the most appealing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image via ShutterStock]