The New Year is viewed as a time to reinvent yourself, and leave bad habits in the past. Topping people’s resolution list each year is the desire to lose weight. While getting healthy is an admirable goal, people typically tend to go about it the wrong way. Many resort to cutting out food favorites like carbohydrates and fats, and in doing so create a diet plan that is unrealistic to maintain throughout the year. The key to successful dieting is to make small changes that will transform your life but fit into your lifestyle. Here’s how to make the most of your New Year’s resolution:
1. Eat breakfast. Did you know that in order to gain weight sumo wrestlers in Japan aren’t fed breakfast? It’s true, skipping breakfast slows down metabolism and encourages weight gain. Start your day with a breakfast that combines fiber and lean protein. This will rev up your metabolism and keep you feeling full till lunchtime.
2. Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber is the secret to easy and successful weight loss. It is the zero-calorie, non-digestible part of a carbohydrate. The more fiber a food has, the more full you will feel after eating. Thus, leading you to consume less throughout the day. In addition, fiber has zero calories—so you get to fill up without filling out.
3. Stay hydrated. Water helps to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that may be slowing down your overall metabolism. Many times our hunger is really just thirst in disguise since the symptoms of dehydration mimic those of hunger (weak, cranky, tired, etc.). If you have trouble getting your 8 glasses of water down a day, try a calorie free flavored water or add fresh lemons and limes to your H20.
4. Snack time. Eating a small, healthful snack between meals will help keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism going strong. You’ll also avoid getting ravenous and overeating at your next meal. Choose snacks that are 200 calories or less, and combine the winning combination of fiber and protein for satisfaction and blood sugar control. Some great snack options are an apple with ½ ounce nuts and whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese.
5. Add weights into your workout. Strength training is usually associated with body builders and competitive athletes. However, it is the best exercise for those trying to loose weight. Strength training creates strong ligaments and tendons, which serve to support our joints and decrease the likelihood of injury from other activities. It also increases muscle fiber size, which results in a boost of metabolism. This allows you to eat more without gaining weight, as your body will burn calories at a faster rate. Combining strength training with a healthy diet is the best way to achieve optimum health and body weight.