editor | |
New Year’s resolutions for most usually include a resolve to lose weight and get fit. Well that’s great but how do we achieve the right balance? How can an exercise program and a good diet support each other to achieve the desired outcome and attain our New Year’s resolution?
Here are seven top tips to help keep you on track with a healthy diet and exercise plan;
Don’t skip breakfast and remember to include a source of protein
Protein is very beneficial at breakfast time as it assists with keeping hunger at bay during the morning and can help carry you through till lunchtime without indulging in unhealthy snacking and help you to stick with your healthy eating plans. If you exercise in the mornings there’s a double bonus as protein can assist with muscle recovery and rebuilding. So think about including yoghurt with your cereal, eggs, fish, even homemade baked beans it a good choice.
Don’t skip meals
It is so important not to skip meals, especially breakfast. You can’t maintain a fitness program and positive lifestyle without enough nutritious fuel to keep your body going and maintain a sufficient energy level to get you through your day. As a guide try to stick to three main meals with a couple of small snack between meal times to keep you blood sugar levels even and your body functioning at its best to get it through the day.
Make your meals count as quality fuel for your body
So what does that mean? It means to think about when you do you exercise and how what you eat at the next mean can have the most benefit in helping your body to recover from physical exertion and how to maximise the energy intake. So that is why if possible it is a really good idea to consume protein and quality carbohydrates within 30 minutes of completing your exercise routine. Quality carbs such as natural muesli and yoghurt for breakfast is a good combination and chicken, vegetables with brown rice for dinner is another good combination to compliment your exercise.
Make your lunch for work, don’t buy takeaway
Preparing your lunch the night before work can really help you to stick to your health and fitness plans as it will help to eliminate diet distractions and indiscretions. You could cook extra at the evening meal and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. You could set a day a side each week or month to have a bit of a ‘cook-off’ and make some healthy meals in bulk that you could set aside portions for lunchtimes and keep in the freezer when you need it.
Support your local fresh food markets and local farmers markets
Farmers markets and such have really come into their own again with a raised community awareness about achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle. There is also more of an interest in homes and communities today to desire ‘fresh is best’ when it comes to buying perishable grocery items. So it’s a great opportunity to get out and support the local farmers market if you have one in your area and learn more about what’s best in season and enjoy fresh produce at its best.
It’s also a great opportunity to get involved in a community garden, or even start one yourself with your neighbours to share a common plot of land to grow and harvest fresh produce to trade with the other gardeners sharing the plot.When you are faced with a fridge of fresh produce, it makes it so much easier to make healthy food choices and prepare nutritious meals and more convenient to grabbing a piece of fresh fruit instead of processed bars when you are on the run.
Clean your kitchen pantry
When you get home from a long day at work and you are feeling tired it’s oh-so-easy to reach for the quick kilojoule laden snack (that packet of crisps, chocolate, candy) to get that energy boost when you need it most. So help yourself, clean out that cupboard and get rid of the junk food and keep quality nutritious foods on hand such as fresh fruit in the fridge, low-fat dairy products, nuts and wholemeal crackers to help you meet those hunger pangs.
If you do feel the need to keep a treat or two, don’t deprive yourself but buy quality or make your own and stick to the 80/20 rule. Meaning 80% of the time you eat nutritious food and 20% of your consumption can be special treats from time to time.
What are you drinking?
To maintain your weight and fitness plans you need to look at the beverages you drink and analysis what in them. The hidden kilojoules that sabotage your diet efforts will be the excess of sugar found in most canned and bottled soft drinks and the full fat milk and extra cream in your coffee and hot chocolate.
Try and consume most of your beverages as water. It’s sugar free, the ultimate thirst quencher and will keep your body well hydrated. Try to stay away from sugar laden drinks and sweetening your beverages with fresh fruit blended into soda or mineral water instead and remember to stick to the low fat milk and dairy options when you have your morning coffee.