What are you thinking about for your New Year’s resolution. Try 12 months to a new and slimmer you.
Ever made a new year’s resolution only to find that you have gone back to your old ways in a months’ time, or worse still it did not take off at all.
We have all been there.
Let’s see how we can make a lasting plan to take us through the new year 2018, one step at a time.
I have laid out a plan for just one item each month. Just one item. Not more.
Why one per month?
As a common theory, it takes about 21 days to form a habit.
This was popularised in the 1960s by Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon, who found his patients took 21 days to get accustomed to their new faces.
However, it may take up to 66 days to achieve this, as per a new study. You can read more into this in this article:
Here’s how long it takes to break a habit, according to science
So let’s work on one month to create a new habit, and if it does take longer, we can continue with it into the next month so that it can be thoroughly inculcated into your system.
So, the basics would be to start up one fitness tactic each month, and it should have almost become a habit before we try the next new thing.
Then, are you with me on this? Let’s get into it:
Note: I suggest bookmarking this page and referring to it through the year.
Goal: To have a wholesome breakfast each morning.
Let us first tackle the reasons why you might be skipping Breakfast.
• No time – Have a healthy breakfast does not have to be time consuming. With the right attitude and thought process you can get it done in a jiffy. Initially, however it might take some time getting things organized. But, this is the whole aim of this exercise.
So, look for recipes that will take up the minimum time.
It takes the most power to get any system going initially, that is true for a car, it is true for our lives! See the list of recipes below to get you started in this direction.
• Lack of variety – The old boring corn flakes! Again, this need not be a dull exercise. With the right ideas, you will find yourself looking forward to the morning breakfast.
Check out some of these awesome recipes:
39 Healthy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings
Goal: Eating small meals throughout the day
Now, this might just look like a contradiction to your weight loss program. But hear me out. I am looking at about 6 small meals, and I mean meals to fulfill your craving and not to fill you belly till it can be filled no more.
The theory is, to prevent a sugar drop in your body, by shortening the interval between meals. Now, Let us see what an ideal program would be:
- Breakfast in the morning – Like you started in Jan,
- A mid morning snack
- A tea time snack
- A light snack before bed.
Don’t worry if you cannot get all these meals fulfilled initally, just start adding in one meal at a time. Here, I will stress again reduce the quantity of your normal meal.
For ideas on what these in between snacks can be, you can check out these links:
Goal: Getting well rounded meals daily.
Now, when I am talking about well-rounded meals I mean:
They should have Proteins, Carbs and Veggies (Minerals and Vitamins) within them.
The ideal plate should have about half the plate with veggies, quarter with proteins and quarter with carbs.
However, do not worry if you cannot achieve this right at the start, if you are not used to it. Start off slowly and then gradually aim for the ideal plate of food.
Fats to are important, though we will stress on this in June.
One Pro tip: Don’t over do the Carbs.
Goal: Getting Adequate amounts of water.
Now getting enough water is a challenge for some people because of a few reasons:
• Firstly, because they are just not used to it,
• Because they have not set up a system to ensure they get their water requirements.
• Or, because they keep on eating instead of drinking; that is they mistake thirst for hunger.
You can read this article “Benefits of Drinking water and how to stay Hydrated?”, to get more insights on how you can stay hydrated and how much water you really need.
Goal: Replacing the bad food items in your refrigerator with healthy stuff.
In May let us stress on cleaning out our fridge. They will be a lot of items that may be causing you to gain weight or just going against the idea of good health.
If you have good stuff handy when you are on a hunger pang, then your body will just be thanking you.
So, what are we looking for and what will we consider healthy stuff?
Firstly, minimize or get entirely rid of processed foods. Replace these with real food like vegetables, dairy, poultry, fish etc.
Second, Check labels when you are shopping. If, the label looks like a chemical formula, it might not be the right thing for you. Look for ingredients which you can identify.
Three, replace colas and sodas with plain old water. This might be a hard one, but again try it gradually.
This is just the start, keep looking for ways how you can enhance this process.
Goal: Introduce good oils into your diet.
Like we discussed before, replace things like sauces, mayo, etc. with healthy alternatives like olive oil, fish oil, etc.
Now this will sometimes seem counter intuitive. To lose weight how can fats help?
Here the idea is to have small amounts. Also, studies have found that these healthy oils help in weight reduction, as they help you feel satisfied.
When we cut down entirely on fats, our body will go in a fat storing mode, which will make it harder to lose weight. Also, oils are an essential ingredient for healthy hair, skin and immune system.
You can read more about it here:
The health benefits of different oils
Need a ready reckoner to assist you with these ideas?
Download the 2018 Health Plan sheet here:
Goal: Get moving
This will be the month to get things moving and increase your physical activity. This could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cycling instead of taking the car, playing with the kids outdoors instead of playing a video game.
You can also bump it up a notch by actually getting into a gym routine instead (that is if you do not have one already) or getting more regular workouts if you have been shamming a bit (Don’t worry I’m not going to tell anyone 😉 ).
Basically, find ways to increase your level of physical activity.
If you are looking to get into a training system, these links might help;
12 Things every Beginner should know about Strength Training
Goal: Start eating more home cooked meals
This might not always be possible. However, this month lets concentrate on trying to do this.
Why is it important?
By cooking at home, you can have full control over your diet and will know the quality of food you are eating.
If you must eat out, find out the best restaurants with the healthiest food and frequent them, and look for the healthy options on the menu.
A nice article to read is “7 Tips for Healthy Dining Out”
Goal: Maintain a food diary.
Now that we have started eating better, let’s get even further by keeping a tab of how it is going?
Let’s start maintaining a food diary. The idea here is that if you are logging down what you eat, you are less likely to stray.
Now how do I start one, might be the next question?
Goal: Increase you Fiber Intake:
Fiber is a substance that our system does not actually digest. It is found in fruits and vegetables. It helps you feel full and thus helps in weight loss.
Fiber also assists with the proliferation of good bacteria and formation of Vitamin B12
Also, this helps with the rate at which the stomach empties itself and helps remove toxins.
So how do you go about increasing the fiber in your meals?
Few links that will assist are:
The 16 Most Surprising High-Fiber Foods
Goal: Stand some more.
BONUS : This and the December idea is not part of the e-book
Now the bane of our modern society is that we sit too much. Excessive sitting is linked to various diseases ranging from back pain to heart conditions.
What can you do about it?
There are few options that can be of use. These are standing up occasionally when working at a desk, getting up for each commercial break on the Television and using a standing or treadmill desk at work, to name a few.
I have written a full article on this subject which might interest you:
7 Reasons why Sitting [Infographic] for too long might be affecting your health
Goal: Sleep well
A nice goal to set. We all need adequate amount of shut eye to maintain good health. Numerous bodily functions get fulfilled when we sleep.
In our modern age, we tend to fall short in our daily requirement. Learn techniques of how to help you get enough sleep.
Read how you can achieve this in this article:
13) Additional Goal – In case you already have any of the above under your belt
Goal: Get a bit of Dark Chocolate:
I saved the best for last, 🙂 :
Cocoa, the main constituent of Dark chocolate is known for a load of health benefits.
To name a few they include being filled with antioxidants, reducing blood pressure, increasing brain function and protecting the skin.
The idea here is to eat in moderation so as to get the health benefits and not the adverse effects of extra sugar.
Also try to get chocolate with 70% or more cocoa.
For further information on this subject please refer to the article:
7 Awesome Benefits of Dark Chocolate [Infographic], that you should not miss
So, let’s get started on the journey that will take us through the year. You can keep me informed about your goals and how this is going in the comments section. I respond to each comment, so also ask if you have any doubts about anything I have written.
Still not taken the Quiz. You can do so here: