Wednesday, April 7

Making your New Year's resolutions last for good

In the early weeks of January it is common to see health clubs and weight loss clinics filling up with new clients wanting to get rid of those bulges around the waistline that they have put on during the holidays. Every one of these people has a wonderful goal in mind and hopes to achieve it, but as January turns to February and March, much of their determination turns to dissapointment or despair and New Year's resolutions to lose weight are set aside.
This is a sad story but it does not need to end this way. Following a few simple rules will help ensure that New Year's commitments to health and fitness keep going strong throughout the year.

Be Realistic
The first rule to follow when setting any goal is to make it achieveable. There is nothing more dissaponting than setting a goal that can never be reached. If you are setting a goal to lose weight, make sure it is obtainable. Losing a dress size or two is a much more reasonable goal than wanting to look just like a glamour magazine model. In terms of exercise, set reasonable goals as well. If you are trying to lose weight you should increase the amount of your current activities, but don't expect to completely change your routine from one day to the next. If you are new to exercosong, deciding to go to the gym two haours a day, every day may be a bit too much and you might quickly become burned-out.

Be Healthy
Losing weight should be done in a healthy way. Starving yourself is not healthty for your body and in the end causes just the opposite of what you want. If you skip a meal you are likely to overeat at the next one because you are to hungry. The same is true for overly restrictive diets. If you choose a starvation diets, you will not be able to follow it very long before quitting or, even worse youmay turn to binge eating.
Quick weight loss can be dangerous since quick changes in weight are not just changes in fat. Weight loss rapidly includes some fat but it also includes loses in fluids, muscle, and bone minerals. A sensible weigt loss plan will allow you to lose 1 pound per week.

Be Reasonable
Just as it would probably not very reasonable to take up skiing as physical activity to lose weight if you live in tropics, many diets plans and fads are equally unresonable.
Diets that require you to only eat grapefruit or to eliminate entire food nutrient groups or to mix only certain foods with others are not reasonable to follow for a long term.
If you want to make your commitment to be healthy eating last, it must be based on reasonable priciples of sound nutrition. In the real world, you will be exposed to real food and cannot go on forever eating strange foods in strange combination just to follow a fad diet.
Carbohydrates (and all kinds of other things fad diets might want you to avoid) are out there and you will eventually have to eat them so why not choose a diet that teaches you haow to make intelligent well-informed choices about what to eat?

Be smart
There are no magic pills or fancy slippers that can truly make you lose weight. Your common sense will tell you that, but sometimes wishful thinking gets in the way. No matter how wonderful their promises may sound or how much you want to believe they are true, diet pills and fad diets are simply do not work. Items such as weight loss slippers or bracelets may, in the end, do no more harm than putting a dent in your pocketbook, but other items such as diet pills can have much more harmful and permanent effects. Taking pills made up of unknown substances, even if they are labeled as"herbs" can have serious, even deadly consequences. The only scientifically proven way to lose weight is to decrease the amount of calories you consume or to increase the amount of calories you burn through physical activity.

Be Flexible
Just because you have a bad day at work doesn't mean you want to quit or suddenly start breaking all of the office rules. The same applies to your diet and exercise regime. If you have a bad day and skipped an exercise session, it doesn't mean you should quit. If you slipped once and ate a piece of cake, it doesn't mean you should go ahead and eat three pieces more. The easiest way to quit is to tell yourself you have failed and can't go on. A more reasonable approach is to be flexible and realize that even those with the best intentions will sometimes stumble. Instead of focusing on a minor setback, concentrate on getting yourself right back on track. A healthy diet and execise plan is something that should become as natural and normal as any other part of your life. It is a long road with several goals to be reached along the way. It is perfectly normal to expect that the road will sometimes be bumpy and have its ups and downs. But if your resolutions are based on sound nutrition, smart choices, and reasonable and achieveable goals, you should be able to hold on and make it through to the end of the year and beyond.


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