Happy New Year! Every new year brings new commitments, new goals and unfortunately new stressors. Each year we vow to become a better version of ourselves. By week 3, we begin to panic when nothing is going as planned. At this point, we all realize that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Most of us know that a balanced, low-fat diet is key to nutritional health. However, with the vast variety of diet fads and trends, steady stream of new studies and magical diet pills, we are left wondering where to begin and how to apply this wealth of information.
To make things easier, I have provided you 10 Stress-Free Tips to help you maintain your mental focus and achieve your fitness goals in 2020.
- Create a healthy environment. Make your kitchen fail-proof. Keep junk foods out of the house, including soft drinks. You cannot eat what’s not there. Instead stock your fridge and pantry with healthy snack foods such as fresh fruits and veggies.
- Eat a sensible and balanced breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy balanced breakfast is key to a healthy metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight. My starting your day with a balanced diet, you are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods.
- Drink Water! NO store bought sodas or juices. Drink a gallon of plain water a day. Water flushes out your toxins, reduces hunger and helps keep your skin looking youthful. The high sugar content in soda and juices will induce your cravings making you more prone to lose focus and fall off plan.
- Be Consistent. Eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism high and your energy levels consistent. Your body works like a fine-tuned machine when maintained properly. Consistency allows the body to digest and process your food efficiently and effectively. If the body knows that it will receive nutrients every two hours, it will burn the food for energy instead of storing it as fat for future use.
- Live Guilt Free. Don’t fret over a “bad” junk food day—get right back on track the next day. One bad day will not derail you from a forever lifestyle change. Count it as a cheat day and move forward. We are humans, not machines.
- Enjoy the Process. Have lots of fun and AVOID focusing on measurements from the scale—they are not a true measure of success. Better yet, throw away your scale and look in the mirror. What you see in the mirror is a better measuring stick of your progress. A scale can be a useful too, however, it does not account for muscle gain and other factors. Your health journey is not a race. So have fun, learn your body during the process and truly understand how specific adjustments provide you different results.
- Exercise. Exercise for a minimum of 30 min each day even if it’s only a brisk walk. Again, it’s about consistency! A daily walk will provide better results than someone that only lifts heavy once a month. Simplify it for yourself. Join a fitness group or assign an accountability partner to ensure you succeed this new year!
- Prepare your meals. Preparing your own healthy meals will keep you on a consistent eating schedule and prevent a possible fast food or junk food splurge due to convenience. This is the most undervalued tip! Due to the inconsistencies of our day, from work, family and friends. We don’t realize how fast we consume unnecessary calories from grabbing a candy bar, a small bag of chips or a soft drink throughout the day. By preparing your meals, you will ensure that you consume healthy calories and not overeat.
- A multi-vitamin a day. Supplementing a balanced diet and with a quality multivitamin will ensure your body gets the proper and adequate nutrients that you may be unable to obtain from your meals. Not all vitamins are the same, so do your proper research and ensure your vitamin is full of unnecessary fillers.
- Sleep. A restful 8 hours of sleep is essential for optimal health. Proper rest is necessary for muscle and soft tissue repair and also proper regulation of the hormones that affect and control your appetite. Team No Sleep is glorified, however, the best version of yourself will only emerge with a healthy sleep regimen. So rest up and dream about your 2020 goals!
Practice moderation, burn fuel with regular exercise and enjoy your health journey this new year!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.