Happy New Year! Seems like the perfect time for a mind-body reboot wouldn’t you say? Especially after indulging in all those holiday treats. Here are a few healthy habits to start working on in 2017 – no starvation diets, detoxing or juicing required!
Just a quick note on detoxing before we begin. As tempting as glowing skin, lean limbs and relentless energy sounds from detox promises, the unfortunate truth is that there is a lack of scientific evidence to prove these claims. No amount of special supplements, coconut oil and lemon cayenne drinks have ever been proven to detox your body. Your liver and kidneys are responsible for that job. Adopt the simple lifestyle changes below to help you look and feel better in a shorter space of time:
A really great habit to get into is to start drinking more water. Some of the many benefits include bright hydrated skin, preventing constipation, and reducing fatigue and sleepiness in healthy adults. Aim to up your water intake to 2-2.5 liters a day. Some research has found a link between dehydration and being overweight. That seems like a good enough reason? Drink up! The best to get started on this is to carry a bottle of water with you or have on sitting on your desk and aim to fill it up at least twice a day.
Forget about the fancy superfood powders and oils. Fruit and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and help provide the best defense against oxidative damage. Green leafy vegetables also have nutrients that help the liver with detoxification. They are most likely to also prevent weight gain since they are lower in calories and have a lot of fibre that will keep you satisfied for longer. So go on, make the commitment – half of your plate will be covered with vegetables. This might be a bit tricky to accomplish at breakfast so include a fruit instead. Remember fiber is your friend so opt for a whole fruit instead of the juice.
Remember that carbs aren’t the devil, but it’s the ones you choose that matter. Avoid the refined options like white bread, biscuits, sugar and sugar containing foods and instant noodles. These have their fibre stripped out so they are digested and absorbed quickly leaving your tired and hungry in no time. You are also more likely to overeat them since they aren’t as filling. Make the decision by saying if its white, then it isn’t allowed on your plate. Make a list of high fibre carbohydrates to stick on your fridge to remind you which ones to choose – whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and sweet potato.
Make a point of never skipping breakfast, spacing your meals out evenly and make them equal portion sizes. This will maximize your metabolism, regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, and level out your appetite. Remember skipping meals and starving yourself doesn’t get you anywhere. This will force your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories, which means you’re more likely to cling onto body fat. You will probably break down muscle mass for fuel so unless you want to be thinner but flabbier, eating enough and at regular times is key.
It tends to get boring doing the same workouts over and over. Try something new since there are so many exercises to choose from and variety is fun! If you are new to exercise, that’s okay. Remember that five minutes of a workout is better than no workout at all. Switching up your exercises will also prevent injury or burnout, ensure you are working all the different muscle groups, as well as making sure your progress doesn’t reach a plateau. The best way to reach your goals is to plan a weekly workout schedule that incorporates a good variety of exercise.
A Registered Dietitian is your best source of reliable and up-to-date food and nutrition information. I can help you determine measurable and achievable goals, as well as a plan to help you achieve them with support along the way. Book an appointment here.