Ah, New Years…the time when we set resolutions we’ll most likely forget by March, see an influx of gym members come 6am, and evaluate our last 365 days. We at SweatNet decided that since 2020 is the start of a new decade, our old way of thinking might be better off staying in the last one.
We challenge you to take a moment and think about what a year might look like if you developed new thoughts and chose new habits. If you decided to truly love the body you showed up in, and carried out a voice of positive self-talk. If you’re interested, and ready for a 2020 shake up, then read below for 5 healthier habits we can all take into this New Year.
1) Ditch Dieting: Just because it’s January 1st doesn’t mean we need to start Whole30, go on a juice cleanse, or do a detox to “restart” our systems (your liver actually removes those toxins for you on the daily). This thought process has been highly linked to yo-yo dieting or obtaining an all in or all out mindset. When that happens, we can believe foods are either “good” or “bad”, restrict and then overeat (cue the guilt and shame narrative), and find ourselves being worse off than before we began. Instead, let’s try creating a mindset of moderation and grace. Your body is absolutely brilliant and knows how to process food…even when you’ve overeaten.
The Honest Truth: Although it’s not sexy advice…lifelong health comes from a balanced diet. Fill your meals with fresh foods, color, and a good mix of carbs, fats, and proteins. Secondly, everything is okay in moderation!
2) Consume More Whole Foods: Something magical happens in the body when we choose whole foods over processed foods. The bacteria in your gut begins to change, you retain vitamins and minerals which allows you to reap ALL the benefits, and you may feel fuller for longer because fiber isn’t lost. Not to mention weight loss/maintenance may come easier. Set a goal for 8-10 whole sources of fruits and vegetables every day, and see what changes happen!
Simple Swaps: Whole fruit for fruit juice, roasted potatoes for potato chips, whole wheat bread for white bread, brown rice for white rice, oats for cereal, or water for sugar-based beverages.
3) Recognize Hunger Cues: Most of us blow past hunger cues until we get to a point of starvation or uncomfortable fullness. Bringing a sense of awareness to what we feel around meal time may be just what you need! The first step is to recognize when you feel hungry or full. The second, is to practice acting on these cues and honoring what your body is asking for.
Helpful Hints: On a scale between 1-10 (starving to post-thanksgiving dinner), remain between a 3-7 as often as you can. This allows for better communication between your stomach and brain. Don’t be afraid to pack snacks or ask for a to-go box!
4) Get That Body Movin’ & Shakin’: Daily movement can transform the health of a body and brain. When we exercise, a chemical called endorphins are released. This is our “feel-good” hormone and helps reduce anxiety, depression, and the perception of pain. The higher the workout intensity, the more endorphins are released. So shoot for at least 75 minutes per week of intense movement, or 150 minutes of lower intensity. A workout can take shape in 100 different ways, but what’s most important is to find what works for you!
Fitness Tip: Workout to celebrate what your body CAN do! Not to compensate for what food you gave it.
5) Write Down Monthly Intentions: Make this year an intentional one with friendships, relationships, and personal goals. Listing out 1-5 intentions or goals for your month is a powerful way to stay up on your game. When we break down big dreams into smaller more attainable tasks, change is more likely to occur. Referring back to your intentions daily will help keep these at the forefront of your day!
Pro Tip: Stick intentions on a bathroom mirror, in your car, on your computer, as your phone background, etc. so you constantly see it.
Lexi Bevans, Registered Dietitian
Founder of Powrd Nutrition