New year, new you, new list of sometimes highly ambitious — possibly unrealistic — resolutions that deep down inside you know you have no intention of actually sticking to. Break the pattern by starting with an honest assessment of what you want for yourself.
Sure, many people really, really, really want to fit into that pair of skinny jeans that are a single-digit size. But there are so many other reasons why you should start eating healthier and exercising more in 2016. Shifting your perspective from looking good to feeling good may very well be the key to you finally sticking to a realistic set of resolutions.
Before you fork out hundreds of dollars for the latest fad diet that promises fast results, start by cutting out sugar. Do you drink soda? Do you add sugar to your coffee? Well, replace the soda with water and flavor your coffee with some cinnamon. It takes some getting used to, of course, but by the end of the year, your body will feel the difference, and you'll be a few pounds lighter, too.
You don't have to give up meat, but you should start making wiser choices. Go for lean cuts, avoid processed meat and — even if it's just once a week — give your digestive system a break from it altogether.
We are what we eat, and what goes in must come out. Unsavory though it may be to discuss, you need to pay attention to what's happening when you use the toilet. Are you going regularly? Are you suffering from diarrhea or constipation or both? The best way to keep your digestive system healthy is to eat a balanced diet — and that includes vegetables, you staunch meat-eaters.
If you're thinking you're doomed to one day a week of lettuce and raw carrots, then you're wrong, wrong, wrong. Watch this space because we'll be featuring loads of recipes that prove healthy food can be tasty and satisfying.
The older we get the more important being active becomes. The issue for many people is that some of the workouts out there — including the free stuff on YouTube — are kind of impossible for those who've packed on the pounds over the years or who may not be as flexible as a rubber band anymore (never mind people who have injuries with which to contend). That's why we like to feature realistic workouts for beginners or simply for people who can't contort into a pretzel while holding their body weight on one finger.
Rather than make you feel crappy by showing you impossibly hot (and airbrushed) fitness models, we'll show you real people who are in shape and understand that some of us need challenging but doable workouts. You know, something that doesn't make us feel like we might have a heart attack, herniate a disc or blow out our knees.
Take this 10-minute cardio workout by one of our favorite fitness experts, Jessica Smith, for example. We love it because you don't need any special equipment and Smith, as always, makes you sweat your arse off without making you feel like you're going to break. If you don't have downstairs neighbors, then this workout is a perfect way to get a jump on the day. Get it done and over with before you hit the shower and enjoy the pep in your step all day.
It's also a great workout for people who are short on time but need a quick boost as well as for those who are trying to establish a regular routine that they will actually stick to.
Look, it may take you long time to hit your goal, but it's not about dropping more weight than so-and-so or looking better than who's-it-what's-it. It's about getting that blood pressure down, making sure your blood sugar levels are normal and not at pre-diabetic levels, keeping your cholesterol down, being able to breathe when you walk up the stairs and not feeling like someone's taking a crowbar to your kneecaps when you walk down the stairs. You may not see the results you want in a few short weeks, but you'll definitely feel them and we promise you that can make all the difference.
What are you waiting for? You got this.