This post is for those of you thinking about making a New Year’s resolution to diet and exercise. To start off I have to say I’m not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions, I mean if you really want to make a change in your life why wait until the New Year. Every day is the first day of the rest of your life. But that’s just my opinion if you need to wait until a specific date to make a change who am I to judge.
Okay down to business. If you want to diet I suggest you keep it simple. If you aren’t use to eating nourishing foods I suggest you start there. Instead of keeping track of everything that goes into your mouth why don’t you start by making sure that everything you eat is healthy. To do this simply cut back on fat, sugar and salt, and try and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
After a month of eating healthy you can look at portions. Portions will vary depending on your size, and activity level. I’m a small, middle-aged woman so about 2-3 ounces of meat (A portion about the size of my palm works for me.)
A word on exercise – You have to work up to your goals. If you already have an exercise routine add to it, and take a few weeks for your body to get used to the new activity level and then increase the level again. Don’t try and do everything at once, you don’t want to hurt yourself.
My last piece of advice (Not that you asked for it) Have one day a week where you take a break from the diet. It’s hard to stay away from the foods we love – forever – everyone gives into temptation eventually. I set aside one guilt-free day to have a few of the foods I love. I bake something good for breakfast, like scones or muffins. If I’m out I might enjoy a coffee and cookies with the kids, and at the end of the day I have a glass of wine. Then the next day I’m ready to eat healthy again. Allowing myself one day off a week helps me eat healthy the rest of the week, and lets face it – a couple of cookies and a glass of wine once a week isn’t going to kill me.
If you can afford it I suggest a proven program that promotes healthy food choices and exercise such as Weightwatchers.
I hope all your dreams are realized in the coming year, and I leave you with this cartoon. I hope your experience exercising is better than his.