Monday, December 26, 2016

Some New Year's Resolutions that are Bad for Your Health

Are you setting New Year's Resolutions?  Have you got a list a mile long or is this the year that you are tackling the "Big One"?  Before you begin and January 1st rolls around, have you considered that perhaps the resolutions that you are making aren't really good for you?

Resolution #1: Exercise 7 Days a Week - while being more active is a Great resolution, try to become more active gradually. This way you will avoid muscle soreness and injury as well as the dreaded "I'm too sore" excuse. Aim for two days a week if you haven't been doing a scheduled activity at all, or increase your activity level by adding "one more" every couple of weeks. Be sure that you are giving your body time to rest and recover. That is when the muscle toning and building actually happens. So it is important.

Resolution #2: Cutting Out Carbs - All carbs are not created equal - they are also not the enemy of good health or what is secretly making you "fat". Carbohydrates are seriously misunderstood, they are an excellent source of fuel and nutrition. Instead of cutting out carbs, aim to make half your grains whole and cut down on processed food items.

Resolution #3: Lose 10 pounds by the End of the Month - Although it may be motivating to set a lofty goal, it is mostly likely to overwhelm you and cause you to give up and fail and not make any progress at all. Our goals should be a healthy overall lifestyle and becoming frustrated and giving up does nothing to get us there.

Set goals instead like "I won't eat in front of the TV anymore" or "I will bring my lunch to work". Make healthy swaps like taking the stairs or parking as far away as you can. Although the numbers on the scale can have an intense effect on the way we feel about ourselves, making changes that make us feel good will make us happier in the journey.

Resolution #4: Stick to a Super Low Calorie Diet - Many people drastically reduce their calorie intake to supercharge weight loss in the new year. And while you may see initial results, not only is this way of eating unsustainable, but consuming too few calories can negatively impact your health, slow your metabolism, and cause drastic drops in blood sugar. 

If losing weight is on your to-do list this year, choosing a healthy calorie range that you're able to keep up with is key. "For weight loss, on average, women should aim for the 1,200 to 1,600 calorie range, and men for the 1,600 to 2,000 calorie range.

Resolution #5: Stocking Up on Diet Foods - If you’re trying to overhaul your eating habits, stocking up on packaged, low-calorie diet foods may seem like the quickest route to success. But processed foods, like energy bars and protein shakes, are often packed with sugar and artificial ingredients.

Instead, stock up on foods that are naturally low-calorie, like fruits and vegetables, which offer up more nutritional value while keeping calories in check. Make it a goal to try a new produce item every week, whether it’s a different green in your salad or an exotic fruit you always bypass on the shelf. Introducing more fruits and veggies into your diet will inevitably lower your calorie intake without the need for processed foods.

Resolution #6: Signing up for the Trendy New Fitness Program - test the water before you take the plunge. Sure that new class that everyone is talking about may just be the thing for you, but before you sign up for that 90 day commitment, see if you can take a few classes for free. or ask a friend for a buddy pass.

Resolution #7: Hitting the Weight Room - Strength training is an important part of any exercise regimen and may even boost metabolism and lower blood pressure. But just as with trendy workouts, weight lifting comes with its own set of special considerations, from how much weight to use to proper form.

The best option when just beginning is to work with a fitness professional who will take your specific needs and goals into account while teaching you proper form.” When signing up for a new gym membership, take advantage of the free personal training session that comes with it. This is a great opportunity to pick a professional's brain (for free!). Feel free to take control and tailor the session to what you want to know. You can ask the trainer to show you how to use all of the equipment, demonstrate proper form, and even put together a series of exercises to get you started.

Resolution #8: Quit "Bad Habit" Cold Turkey - Whether it’s a soda addiction, smoking, or a love for potato chips, we all have bad habits we vow to kick come January 1. But cutting them out altogether can backfire, making you feel deprived and more likely to give in to cravings. It isn't that you shouldn't give up those things, but you are much more likely to succeed if you slowly replace unhealthy habits with new better for you ones.

Resolution #9: Going on a Fad Diet - Committing to a trendy diet in the new year is tempting. Yes, the latest diet books make big weight-loss promises and lay out a set of clear guidelines to follow, which can take the guesswork out of losing weight. But these trendy diets are fads for a reason: Fad diets come and go. They sound sexy and magical, but the truth is we should just be eating whole foods.  Research shows that one of the healthiest diets is made up mostly of plant foods, some healthy fats, and a lot of variety in non-processed foods — and is limited in animal products. It's not one that eliminates food groups. Plus, this is the easiest diet to follow. There's no need for fancy and expensive meal plans, instructional books, or specific groceries or supplements. Simply replace processed foods with foods as close to their natural state as possible! Not only will you see the pounds come off; you'll feel healthier, too.

Resolution #10: Going ALL OUT on January 1st - Instead of jumping right into a new routine on January 1, use the first week of the new year to get yourself organized and in the right frame of mind to achieve your goals. If you don’t, you’ll probably find yourself falling off the bandwagon a few weeks later. And if you plan on starting an exercise or weight-training program, speak to the appropriate professionals and make sure you know all the basics before you begin. Then get out your calendar and decide what a manageable exercise plan is for you and your lifestyle, and schedule workouts in the coming weeks. Clean out your kitchen and get rid of all the processed junk to make room for wholesome foods, and hit the grocery store to stock up on all the pantry staples you’ll need to make healthy and delicious meals. With a little planning and preparation, you'll set yourself up for a healthy and happy new year!