It's New Year - have a happy, healthy one! It's also the traditional time to think about what we can change, and how we can become our best selves. If that includes weight-loss and living a healthier lifestyle, we're here to help.
It's important to begin the year in a positive way, and that doesn't mean pressure to reach your goal weight by the 31st January. Instead, take it slowly. Smaller, gradual changes make for long-term habits that are easier to sustain. Can you increase time spent on activity? Does your diet lack fruit and vegetables? Could you drink more water?
The key to success is to set achievable goals and habits that fit your lifestyle; try these as a starting point:
1. Write it down: how much you want to lose, why you want to lose it and how you're going to feel when you have lost the weight. Write your resolution somewhere accessible and easy to see so you will be reminded of what you want to achieve.
2. Be realistic about changes: whatever else needs to change, your eating habits will be on the list. Take ten minutes to think about, and write down, what will be easy and what will be difficult for you. Is it cutting out snacks? Finding time for activity? Menu planning? Your success could rely on your honesty here.
3. Schedule activity: when you're busy with work, home and family, it's easy to forget time for your own well-being. Schedule days you are able to commit to exercise or go for a run, walk, cycle or swim and, this way, you will be more likely to creat then stick to a routine.
4. Plan meals and shopping lists: home cooking gives you 100% control over what goes in your body, and leads to healthier meal preparation. Stock up on fresh and frozen vegetables and fish, tins of beans and pulses, packs of wholewheat rice and pasta, then add lean meat or chicken as you need them.
5. Batch cook: cook once eat twice - this mantra was made for weight loss, the more you prep, the less likely you are to fall back on take aways or ready meals. Preparing meals that can be boxed up and kept in the fridge or freezer ensures you have quick healthy meals throughout the week.
Finally, remember everything depends on what you can realistically commit to. When our targets are broken down into smaller goals, they feel more achievable.