For many, each year often begins in the same way. After a holiday period marked by over-consumption of alcohol and food, January begins with many resolutions: "This is MY year. The year where I will achieve all my weight and fitness goals." And then, while January may seem like a month full of physical activity and unnecessary dietary restrictions, the gyms empty in February while the plates fill up and old habits return the following year. That's enough - here are five reasons why this year should be different and how these objectives can be achieved.
1. Achieving Your Objectives Does Not Have to Be Restrictive - or Exhausting
Contrary to what people believe, losing weight does NOT mean depriving yourself of food or exhausting your body by spending hours at the gym. This leads to a vicious circle of weight loss followed by weight gain when habits are unsustainable. To achieve a healthy weight, you need to try new foods, new cooking methods and, most importantly, stay in touch with your body. Consider this year as 365 days of opportunities, discoveries and adventures, not a time of hunger and boredom.
2. Save Money
When it comes to a healthier diet, many fear a high grocery bill at the end of the week. However, the reality is that better eating habits can save you money. Although fresh foods are sometimes more expensive than processed foods, a diet richer in fibre and good sources of protein will increase our satiety and therefore our appetite will be reduced. In addition, preparing more food at home instead of just pre-packaged meals and consuming less alcohol can also result in significant monthly savings.
3. The Year to Try New Activities
Overweight can often interfere with our desire to try new things, whether it is because of lack of energy, lack of self-confidence or for any other reason. Achieving a healthy weight that is appropriate for you and in which you feel comfortable and confident will give you the opportunity to discover new hobbies or experiences that you have previously reported. A one-day hike, an hour's trampoline ride, a new gym class or a long walk in the park - you should try any activity that gives you good energy, even if your "perfect weight" is no longer enough.
4. Find the Old Styles Again
Do you remember that pair of jeans you haven't worn for a long time but can't throw away? Well, you won't have to do it! The average Canadian will gain weight every year (Statistics Canada, 2007). Although we can't go back, we can stop this expected weight gain and move the scale numbers back. It will be like getting a new closet at no cost!
5. Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Excess weight is not only a problem with the scale. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and more. Unfortunately, too many people only decide to make lifestyle changes when blood tests show abnormalities such as high cholesterol or blood sugar levels, when in fact we should take steps to avoid going that far. The emphasis should be on spending as much time as possible enjoying a healthy and disease-free life and not waiting for a problem to arise that needs to be addressed.
Whatever your reason, 2019 can be the year you turn the page with a healthier version of yourself. Small, sustainable changes can take you much further than emergency regimes and restrictions - and make the process much more enjoyable!