Fitness and diet tips are aplenty. But if you’re seeking real, useful advice on how to keep your New Year’s resolution in 2019, you’re in the right place. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you began your year with yet another promise to eat healthier and exercise more often. But after the first quarter of each year — the farthest most people go without cracking — you may have strayed from your fitness regime and forgotten about your meal plan. One of the most common reasons for this is a lack of motivation and/or guidance. So if you’d rather not go through the same cycle of failed fitness resolutions repeating itself, it’s time you actually stuck through with it till the end of the year – or at least till you’ve achieved desired results.
So, to ensure that your New Year’s Resolution actually counts this time around, we’ve rounded up a few expert-approved diet and exercise tips for you to follow. Check them out below:
5 exercise tips to help you keep up with your New Years Resolution
According to Dr. Adnan Badr, Lead Physiotherapist at Digestive Health Institute by Dr. Muffi, irrespective of your body type, lack of physical activity could have tons of negative health impacts such as the risk of cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 Diabetes, to name a few. Regular exercise could help reduce the risk of developing these illnesses.
“Exercise also enhances cognition. Whenever we exercise, there’s an increase in the blood pressure and blood flow everywhere in our body, including the brain. More blood simply means more oxygen and more energy, making your brain perform better,” explains Dr. Badr.
While different people may have set different fitness targets for their New Years Resolution, Dr Badr has listed out six general health tips that’ll keep you motivated throughout your journey.
1. Set realistic goals
If you have never exercised in your life then telling yourself that you’ll be working out one or two hours a day is just not going to happen. Start by walking for 20 minutes a day, thrice a week and gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise.
2. Do something that you like
There are tons of exercises to help you get fit, but you need to figure out what works for your body best. And preferably, pick an exercise that you’re not likely to get bored of and dump mid-way. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for another. So, if you don’t like running there’s no point pounding the pavement. You can try dancing, cycling, swimming or pilates instead.
3. Add variety to your exercise plan
Mixing up your exercise routine will break the monotony and keep you motivated. Try mixing your regime with different forms of exercise such as strength training, flexibility workouts, mobility exercises, aerobic activity, etc. and even change the location whenever possible.
4. Get a training buddy
Working out by yourself can be boring, even though you do have your playlist to keep you going. Aligning your workout schedule with a training buddy will keep you motivated, make exercising more fun and in turn help you burn more calories.
5. Make optimal use of your time outside the gym
When you have to skip your gym sesh for whatever reason, ensure to make up for it by playing a sport while you’re away or going for a walk post lunch and dinner. This way, you’ll get your daily dose of exercise and not leave too much of a gap in your routine to want to break away from it altogether.
7 diet tips to help you keep up with your New Year Resolution
According to Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Co-Founder, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist at Food Darzee, you need to understand your food nutrition content before consumption in order to help you make an informed choice. Sure, weight loss is a combination of healthy eating habits and regular exercise. But your diet plays a more important role than the exercise in your weight-loss journey because no matter how hard you work out at the gym, your calorie intake needs to remain below the amount you’re actually burning to witness effective weight loss. So here are a few essential diet tips by Dr Bhargava to help you maintain your resolution with ease.
1. Fill up on fiber
Fibre is a substance found in plants and dietary fibre that you consume in the form of fruits, vegetables and grains. It is a very important part of your diet which provides maximum benefits. High fibre foods provide many health benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight, skin health, diverticulitis, controlling blood sugar levels, heart diseases, and normalizing bowel movements.
2. Consume proteins
There are two types of protein sources, namely, first-class protein and second class protein.
First class protein is derived from animal sources such as chicken, fish, dairy products and eggs. Whereas second class protein is derived from plant sources such as vegetables, pulses (sprouts, grams), nuts (almonds, walnuts), soya etc.
As protein is required for muscle development and tissues repair, the recommended dietary allowances for protein is 0.8-1 gram per kilogram weight. So, for people used to a sedentary lifestyle, the daily protein requirement comes up to 50-55 grams per day.
How to include this in your diet: When you’re snacking, ensure to eat nuts instead of fried chips. For breakfast, you can have egg whites or paneer parathas. For lunch, you can incorporate chicken, fish and meat, while your dinner could be a light one with pulses and veggies.
3. Include Vitamin C in your meals
This water-soluble vitamin is also known as ascorbic acid. It contains antioxidants which, as the name suggests, prevent oxidation of certain free radicals. Vitamin C also aids in iron absorption. Some sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, sweet lime, India gooseberry (alma) and kiwi. Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach contain Vitamin C. Remember to keep a tab on your portion size for these foods since over-eating could be problematic. Two servings of fruits daily should be compulsory.
4. Load up on Omega 3 and Omega 6
These are the essential fatty acids and are important for preventing heart diseases. They also help in reducing triglycerides and blood pressure. Major sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 include flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, avocados, fish oil, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and olives.
How to include this in your diet: You can add powdered almonds and walnuts to your smoothies and milk. When you’re consuming salads, sprinkle flax seeds or pumpkin seeds to enhance the taste.
5. Pick small changes at a time
According to Carlyne Remedios, Group Manager of Clinical Practices, Nutrition and Product Development at Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi, it is essential to stick to smaller changes at a time to help you incorporate them better.
“Pick only three small changes that you want to make in your diet and go with them until they become a habit. Then pick the set of next three and so on,” she advises. “If you try to change your entire diet all at once you are most likely to fail, setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.” Further, she gives an example saying that instead of trying to cut sugar completely from your diet, the first trial should be reducing 2 teaspoons of sugar in your cup of tea to one. Once you get used to that, cut it down further. Similarly, if you are trying to include more greens in your diet, start off with making it a point to have greens at least twice a week and then gradually increase it.
6. Don’t give up too easily
Remedios is of the opinion that it takes four weeks for your palate to get used to any taste change. So, if you do not like the taste of your coffee without sugar, don’t give up the next day. Instead, give yourself time and keep telling yourself that you will barely notice it three weeks later.
7. Give yourself a cheat meal
Remedios’s advice is to set one meal a week to eat/drink whatever you like. You are more likely to stick to your nutrition plan if you give you yourself a weekly break. That way you won’t frustrate yourself or binge during your weak moments.