It feels like it was just yesterday when we discussed our 2017 New Year’s resolutions. We must ask... How did it go? Were you able to reach all or at least part of your health goals? If so, what helped? If not, what obstacle kept you from meeting your goals?
While we are in full support of resolutions, and starting new in 2018, we also believe in setting realistic and achievable goals – by this we mean, continuing health efforts from the previous year and building up on them rather than completely starting over. Using this method will put less stress on you mentally, which will make it easier to stay on track with goals.
Here at FitBliss we are going to help you continue your current health journey by providing you with five easy steps!
Good nutrition is nothing without physical activity. We like to encourage readers to keep their hearts pumping! If the holidays have come in the way of your consistent workout regimen, then however much you are taking part in now; we need you to increase that by two more days. So, if you’re only having time to work out once per week right now, the goal is to increase that to three days. If you’re not working out at all, the goal is to start off by working out twice per week. Eventually, the goal is to take part in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (~30 minutes five days per week). The more the better, to keep your metabolism, heart, gut and overall health in peak shape!
FitBliss Tip: Heart pumping activity can include dancing (one of my personal favorites), brisk walking, running, hiking, a Yoga Flow or any other cardio classes will work just fine! Also, try using the stairs a bit more rather than the elevator when at work or while running errands!
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it is recommended that individuals take part in at least two days of weight training exercise. Weight training paired with cardio is important to help burn fat and build lean muscle mass. A combination of both cardio and weight training paired with good nutrition will help further meet weight loss or maintenance goals.
FitBliss Tip: Don’t forget recovery nutrition! Within 15-30 minutes of weight training, consume a protein rich snack or smoothie! Try a Greek yogurt and fruit, string cheese and fruit, trail mix or a protein shake!
Using a Health and Activity-Tracking Device:
Continuing to use a health or fitness-tracking device may also encourage more steps into your daily routine. Fitness-tracking devices can help increase motivation, increase fitness activity, and helps keep individuals accountable (some come with fitness reminders) for their fitness routine.
FitBliss Tip: If you do not have one already, consider purchasing a fitness tracking device such as a Misfit, Fitbit or Apple watch to help keep you on track with your fitness and health goals.
Pack the Refrigerator:
Sometimes all we need is to clean out the refrigerator to continue to stay motivated to meet our health and nutrition goals. During the holidays, it is easy to stock the fridge up with sweets and calorically dense goodies. Which is fine. The goal is not to feel guilty. However, being surrounded with too many foods high in sugars and fats may make it less motivating to choose fruits, veggies or lean proteins. Now that the holidays are over, swap foods rich in sugars and fats with healthy alternatives. Focus on adding more foods rich in fiber (brown rice, oats, quinoa), fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats into your fridge and putting them into storage containers that make it easy to prepare foods and to consume them. Being motivated to choose healthy alternatives, will help you meet your weight loss and health goals.
FitBliss Tip: Prepare trail mix snack bags with no-sugar added dry fruit for a healthy to-go snack. Also, chop apples and put them into snack bags for a grab and go healthy crunch when needing a snack.
Add More Color into your Diet and Hydrate!
To jump-start and continue your health efforts, make sure to be getting adequate hydration throughout the day. Sometimes when we do not meet our hydration needs we tend to crave foods rich in sugar. Make sure to keep a water bottle nearby and make it a goal to drink at least 1 cup every 2 hours to meet your daily needs of 8-10 cups. Water benefits digestion, metabolism and skin health.
Continue to add more color into your diet. Rather than focusing on what to eliminate, add more dark greens to your lunch, add more veggies rich in color (carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) to your dinner and more berries to breakfast. Adding more color from fruits and veggies reduces the number of calories, fats and sugars one consumes and in return helps weight loss efforts and benefits overall health by decreasing chronic disease risk.
FitBliss Tip: Add more berries to your oatmeal at breakfast, add fruits in between your meals as snacks or even try cooked beets, add dark leafy green salads to lunch and cooked veggies to your dinner.
Check-in with your Goals:
The final tip we will be giving for the start of 2018 is to check in with what has worked for you in the past year and what has not. Was it the work schedule that kept you from meeting your health goals? Was it not getting enough sleep that kept you from not meeting health goals? Was it not hydrating enough? Did you find yourself being surrounded by “junk food” at the office and in the kitchen? Was time an issue when it came to preparing a healthy meal at home? Whatever it was, it will be important to pin point how you can make changes to the above. For example, if you feel like you don’t know how to cook a healthy meal, why not try to join a cooking group or class this year? It will be important to pin point your 2017 road blocks and make changes as needed or to try something new to help reach your goals in 2018!
Yasi Ansari, MS, RDN, CSSD
Yasi currently works as a Clinical Dietitian through Sodexo at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, Hoag Orthopedic Institute and Hoag for Her Center for Wellness in Southern California. Yasi’s previous work includes a position as the Clinical Nutrition Coordinator at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Athletics fueling student athletes and nutritional work at USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Yasi also works as a health and nutrition content writer for local dietitians and physicians. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication Studies from UCLA and a Master of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition and Dietetics from Cal State University, Northridge. She is passionate in educating clients, corporate wellness facilities, patients and students on the importance of optimal nutrition for performance, wellness and longevity.
Follow @spoonfulofyaas on Instagram for more information.
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