- Posted in Health Benefits
At the turn of the new year, we all set goals to lose weight and get healthy. Unfortunately, without the motivation to stick to, our best laid efforts often get put to the wayside and we resort back to our old ways. Unfortunately, continually telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow is a recipe for disaster since “tomorrow” never truly comes. This creates years and years of consistent weight gain and unhealthy habits with the assumption that one day all of your procrastination will be gone.
Why Is It Important to Make 2020 Your Year?
The best time for you to make changes to your health is right now. Creating goals and sticking to that plan is essential for reaching your desired weight and getting fit, healthy and active. Continually putting off these goals isn’t doing your body any favors. Being overweight and obese causes a variety of health-related complications that may be reversible if you lose the weight and others that may not be reversible. For this reason, make 2020 your healthiest year ever. Remember that no one regrets not having their nightly dessert at the end of the year, but most people end the year regretting not making changes to alter their eating and activity habits.
15 Ways to Make 2020 Your Healthiest Year Ever
These 15 tips will help you to get healthy and active for the new year. Remember that it’s never too late in the year to make lasting changes. Every day that goes by that you continue on an unhealthy path is one day that you could have worked on the health and wellness of your body. Getting into a solid health and wellness plan takes dedication and motivation. It is much like a habit, where the more that you work on healthy behaviors, the more ingrained those behaviors become.
1. Get Into a Solid Workout Routine
Working out not only helps to release feel-good endorphins into the blood stream, but it helps to get your heart pumping, your blood circulating and your body toned and fit. There are several ways to get into a workout routine, but the key is to find something that keeps you feeling motivated. Some people love going to the gym where they can be around other health-conscious people. Others like working on equipment at home. Some find that online workout videos and local dance classes help them achieve their goals. When you workout in a way that you enjoy, you’re more likely to do it. Even hula hooping is a great workout and can be lots of fun.
2. Drink More Water
Most of us don’t get enough water throughout the day, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can cause a myriad of health issues, like headaches, dry skin, lethargy and constipation. When you drink more water, you feel better and your body will thank you for it. A simple way to get more water is to eat more fruits and veggies, which are jam-packed with liquid. You should also get in the habit of keeping a water bottle with you and sipping on it throughout the day.
3. Skip the Sugar
Sugar is addictive and can cause you to want more sugar. Studies have shown that when a person consumes something high in sugar, they immediately crave more of it. This creates a chain reaction and is the catalyst for binge eating. If you can’t eliminate sugar entirely, limit the amount that you consume by cutting down on snacks or swapping out unhealthy snacks for healthier ones.
4. Consider Keto
Keto is the principle of limiting or totally eliminating your carbohydrate intake. Being able to reach a state of ketosis varies from one person to the next, but most people will need to consume under 50 grams of carbs to begin entering ketosis. Ketosis is the state in which the body stops burning carbs for fuel and turns instead to body fat. Many people find that eliminating carbs or limiting them greatly also helps to curb cravings throughout the day.
5. Do a Cleanse
Cleanses are great for eliminating toxins and built-up waste in the digestive tract. They are fantastic for people who want to kick start their weight loss efforts without resorting to unhealthy diet pills and magic potions. Cleanses work by flushing out the digestive tract and it isn’t uncommon for people doing a cleanse to lose up to 20 to 30 pounds in just a few weeks. This is often the motivation a person needs to stick to their goals.
6. Work on Portion Control
Portion control is key to reducing your caloric intake and losing weight. Weight loss is about calories in versus calories out. If you eat less, you’re going to lose weight. This is especially true if you calculate the amount of calories that you need using a TDEE calculator. TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure and is a great tool to use to estimate weight loss and calorie needs. As far as portion control, many people find that using smaller plates helps them to cut down on the amount they’re eating.
7. Keep a Food and Exercise Diary
Food and exercise journals are great for logging what you’re eating and how often you’re exercising. These diaries are also essential for finding out what’s working and what’s not working. If you notice that at the end of the week you gained weight, the journal is there to help you figure out what you did to cause a gain on the scale. You can also use the food and exercise diary as a journal, talking about emotions and daily events as a way to relieve stress.
8. Work on Stress Relief
Stress plays a major role when it comes to the way that a person looks. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released when a person is feeling anxious and pressured and, unfortunately, this particular hormone is responsible for the fat that accumulates around the stomach area. This fat is the most dangerous when compared to anywhere else on the body because it encases the internal organs and increases a person’s chances for heart attack and heart disease. Methods of stress relief include meditation, yoga, deep breathing and massage.
9. Make Health a Priority
One of the main issues that many people have is that they don’t make their health a priority. This is easy when you’re living a hectic lifestyle and are a caregiver for other people. When you begin to put the focus back on yourself, it is easier to make healthier changes so that you feel and look so much better.
10. Make Small Daily Changes
Weight loss and health isn’t necessarily about a huge change that you make but about small daily changes that add up to become cumulative. After all, you didn’t gain the weight overnight and you can’t expect to lose it overnight either. You should never be frustrated at yourself for either gaining a lot of weight in the first place or not losing it quick enough. Changing your habits takes time and effort, so work on focusing on making these changes every single day of 2020.
11. Socialize in Real Life
It’s easy for us to socialize online because of the advancement of social media sites. However, you still need to take the time to get together with friends and family in real life, too. Set a date to go out to lunch with a group of friends or get together with someone you haven’t talked to in years. Not only is this a great stress reliever, but it gives you a sense of accomplishment that can help with weight loss and health efforts.
12. Kick Bad Habits
Bad habits do nothing for your overall health and wellness. Habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and binge eating need to be kicked to the curb in order to lay out a plan to become a healthier individual. Kicking a habit isn’t easy, but by working on making changes consistently, it’s easier to alter the way that you think.
13. Nix the Processed Junk
Processed food is filled with junk preservatives, additives and artificial ingredients. Many people find that when they get rid of processed foods, they are able to lose weight more effectively. This could also be due to the amount of sodium found in processed foods, which causes water retention in the body.
14. Start Cooking at Home
Eating out is fine when you’re in a real bind, but it shouldn’t be done often and you need to be wary of what and where you’re eating. When you cook at home, you are in total control over what goes into a meal and the specific ingredients being used. This can help to reduce your caloric intake by making healthier ingredient choices.
15. Get Out in Nature More Often
Not only is getting out in nature a wonderful stress reliever, but it helps you to get more Vitamin D from the sun and more fresh air, which is ideal for clearing indoor-related allergies, headaches and mental fog. If you’re not an outdoorsy-type person, make small changes like going out on a back deck to read a book or taking a 15-minute walk in the afternoon on a Sunday.
Solid Changes for a Great Year
By making solid changes, your 2020 is headed in the right direction and it’ll be easier for you to meet your health and wellness goals. Remember that losing weight and getting healthy isn’t a race. For some people, they can lose a massive amount of weight in a year while others may take two or three years to lose the same amount of weight. The goal is to make healthy changes and to stick with them, eventually allowing those changes to become cumulative in nature.