12/22/09

Jan 1st

What's really going to change when you get to the New Year? Are you suddenly going to be 10 lbs lighter? Will your body automatically stop craving sweets? Are you going to instantly develop a love for meal planning and making your own meals?
There is nothing wrong with a New Year resolution but if you are making a nutrition/weight-related resolution, why not start today?
If you think about, there are 9 more days until 2010. That's 9 days to eat a few more fruits and veggies, to plan your meals and snacks, to understand portions and learn how to control yourself around certain foods and to change up your current exercise routine (if you aren't exercising, start slow). For the next 9 days, commit to healthier eating and a more active lifestyle. If you start now, you will be 9 days ahead of the rest of population who sets unrealistic expectations for the upcoming year.
The holidays often bring stress, business and a change of routine. They also bring sweet treats, high fat meals and heavy portions. But, a the same time, they can bring happiness, family traditions, smiles and love.
After the winter holidays, people often feel ready for a change. Perhaps it is due to the fatty and sugary meals and snacks or maybe, it is due to a quick (or long) reflection of the previous year. Whatever way you want to look at it, January 1st can be life changing.
New Year-related articles are my favorite. I love reading them and most of all, I love writing them.
When it comes to weight loss and exercise, it is 100% unrealistic if you think that all will change in one day. More so, if you want to stick to a resolution (which is long-lasting) you have to understand how to create healthy habits in order to make that resolution manageable and realistic. If you tell yourself that you are going to eat 1800 calories a day and exercise 10-12 hours a week you must learn how it can be done so you 1) recover from workouts to get stronger 2) reduce risk from injury 3) not overeat before and after workouts 4) don't feel like you "have" to eat or exercise in a certain way but rather than you "want" to 5) and most of all, enjoy life and not feel like you have to stick to a strict exercise and eating routine in order to maintain your goal (realistic) weight.
Maybe you need to eat a little protein after your 30-60 min. workouts and before your meals in order to prevent overeating. Maybe you need to drink more water during the day. Maybe you need to decrease meal calories by 50-100. Maybe you need to add a serving of fruit and veggies to each meal and snack.
These are all options to change your habits to promote a healthier way of living life and finding joy in your eating and exercise routine.
The other day when I was listening to AM radio I heard a doctor talk about all of the foods that we should be eating for weight loss. I have a feeling that most individuals (especially athletes) don't have trouble in finding what to eat. Rather, it is more about what not to eat. However, if you create a resolution that you don't want to eat x-food because you want to lose weight, you will never learn to find the missing links in your current eating routine that are preventing you from losing weight. What if I told you it isn't the 8pm Hershey Kiss that is preventing you from losing weight. What if I told you that you aren't going to lose weight by eating soup and salad for lunch every day instead of your normal Turkey and Cheese Sandwich. What if I told you that you could eat 2 Hershey Kisses a day so long as you had 1 serving of fruit at least once between breakfast and lunch and 1 serving of veggies between lunch and dinner. What if I told you that you could keep your Turkey and Cheese sandwich so long as you used 1 tbsp hummus instead of 2 tbsp mayo, whole grain bread instead of a spinach wrap and 1 piece of cheese instead of 3 slices cheese so long as you started your lunch with a side salad filled with colorful veggies and fat-free dressing (or low cal vinaigrette) on the side? What if I told you that the only way I want you eat a salad for a meal is if you combine at least 100-150 calories of protein (25-37g) and at least 50 calories worth of fat (5.6g) with your bowl full of veggies. What if I told you that if you eat a small snack before each meal (50-80 calories, primarily protein or fiber) that you will find yourself eating less for meals and ultimately reducing your total caloric intake. What if on your busy days, when you just don't have time to exercise or feel like exercising, that I told you that you could burn calories by adding in 3x1 mile walks (15 min each walk)? You don't have to feel the burn, you don't have to get to a gym, you don't have to run and most of all, you don't have to get sweaty. You just need to get your body moving and start walking.
In the past few weeks, Iron Girl sent out a few e-blasts promoting the December 31st registration date for the 2010 Iron Girl event series. If you are wanting a top-notch racing experience with loads of amenities, I recommend signing up for one of the many all-women Iron Girl races.
If you haven't received an email, I have a few New Year resolution tips on the bottom of each email. I thought I would post one of my New Year tips which I find very useful for people who like to plan out their 2010 racing season. If you aren't an athlete, no worries...start planning your personal long term and short term goals.


Small changes bring big results. And when speaking of body composition and physical activity, who doesn't want to succeed with personal fitness and weight loss goals? Because long-term results don't happen overnight, you must be realistic and not expect your entire life to change in the first 24 hours of January. While the New Year can certainly jump start a weight loss and/or fitness program, your new healthy and active lifestyle is long-term and not short-lived.

Starting today, set 3 short term and 3 long term goals.
Give yourself 6 months to reach your short term goals and 12 months to reach long term goals. If your BMI (Body Mass Index) is in the overweight or obese category, aim to lose 6-10% of your current weight in 6 months. In terms of physical activity, aim for a total of 60 minutes of exercise (short bouts of exercise count towards your daily goal) at least 5 days per week. Here are some examples;

Short term goals:
1. Lose 1-2 lb per week for the next 6 months.
2. Eat more fruits and veggies as snacks.
3. Keep a food journal.

Long-term goals:
1. Complete my first Iron Girl triathlon or run this summer.
2. Take an active 1-week vacation with friends and/or family before next January.
3. Inspire 5 of my friends to live a healthy and active lifestyle with me.