While the New Year brings with it many a celebration and promises of a fresh start, it also comes a whole lot of urealistic expectation – usually in the form of New Year’s resolutions.
Take me for example. New Year’s resolution 2008/09: not to spend any more money on clothes until the new season. With TopShop, H&M and Zara at my fingertips (I was living in London at the time) – was I crazy??! There was no way that was going to last (and it didn’t).
Likewise, New Year’s resolution 2009/10: go to yoga at least twice a week. I hate yoga and have always hated it – who was I kidding thinking I’d suddenly wake up wanting to get into a ‘downward dog’?
This year, one of my (many) new year’s resolutions is to make every effort to lead a healthier lifestyle. However, having learnt from past experience that while grand resolutions might seem like a good idea in the early hours of January 1st, come three days later I’m usually quick to realise that they’re completely unrealistic. So what's a girl with good intentions supposed to do?
According to the experts at Jenny Craig, when it comes to health-conscious and weight management resolutions, people often set goals that are too ambitious, and the result is disappointment and despair. So rather than identifying one huge goal that may end up being too daunting, they recommend setting mini-resolutions. Here are a few suggestions if slimming down is one of your resolutions:
• Strive for a healthy weight loss of half to one kilogram per week. Rapid weight loss is unhealthy, and can result in a loss of muscle mass instead of body fat.
• Eat three balanced meals and three nutritious snacks each day. Skipping meals will cause your metabolism to slow, making it harder to lose weight.
• Accumulate your activity throughout the day. If you don't have ½ an hour to spare, three 10-minute bouts of activity are just as effective in lowering blood pressure and body fat.
• Be salad bar savvy. While loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, salad bars are often brimming with mayonnaise-based salads and higher-fat meats, cheeses and dressings. Build your salad wisely.
• Keep in mind that all kilojoules count. While a label may say "fat-free," the item is most likely not kilojoule free… and an extra 14,700 kilojoules can result in a weight gain of half a kilogram.
• If you must weigh yourself, do so once a week. Daily fluctuations are inevitable and can be demotivating. Instead, let your clothing be your guide.
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What are your new year’s resolutions? Do you usually stick to them?