According to a poll by Forbes, the top 2024 New Year’s resolutions are improved fitness, finances, mental health, weight, and diet.
Health and fitness are always at the top of the list. Gyms will be overcrowded the first two or three weeks of January, and every crazy fad will be tried, from detox diets to spot-reduction exercises to “magic” pills and slimming wraps.
But we all know fads don’t work and that most gadgets don’t live up to their promises. A proven approach to weight loss and fitness is the key to losing weight and enjoying long-term results; shortcuts usually do more harm than good, and progress is short-lived.
These time-tested tips will help you get the results you’re looking for in your health and fitness journey.
Control Your Portions
Have you noticed how plates are getting bigger? It’s easy to overeat when the plate you eat from is too big. So consider eating from smaller plates, perhaps ones that are eight inches in diameter, to help with portion control. Smaller portions mean fewer calories.
Don’t Go For Seconds
Savor your food and give your brain time to register that you’re full, which typically takes around twenty minutes. You’ll probably feel full after twenty minutes and won’t want seconds. If it’s been twenty minutes and you’re still hungry, have some more.
Think High-fiber and Lean Protein
Fiber is a huge weight loss ally because it fills you up. And lean protein helps maintain your muscle mass and controls appetite. Add foods high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and foods rich in lean protein, like chicken, fish, and tofu, into your diet.
Choose healthy snacks when eating between meals. Nutrient-dense snacks like mixed nuts, fruit, or yogurt can keep hunger at bay and your energy levels stable. But always keep an eye on sugar content and calories.
Avoid Liquid Calories
Calorie-laden beverages like sugary sodas, fruit juices, and high-calorie coffee drinks are diet killers. They have to go if you want to get fit and lose weight.
Drink Water & Stay Hydrated
Sometimes, the body confuses being thirsty with hunger, causing you to overeat. So, drink water throughout the day to prevent this from happening. Drinking water before meals tends to curb appetite and reduces calorie intake.
Make Physical Activity a Priority
Eating healthy and being physically active go hand in hand if you want to get fit and lose weight. One without the other is ineffective. Studies suggest we should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. If that sounds like a lot, start with ten or 15 minutes a day to start building the habit of exercising regularly; consistency is key. Remind yourself that it usually takes a few weeks to see significant results.
Get Your Sleep
Skipping sleep causes hormonal imbalances that lead to cravings and weight gain. Getting good sleep is crucial for weight loss. How much? Seven to nine hours daily.
Don’t Eat Mindlessly
When you watch television or engage in mindless scrolling while eating, you tend to lose track of how much food you’re eating. Furthermore, you don’t enjoy your meal because you’re not in the moment. Savor each bite of your food to feel satisfied and fulfilled after the meal.
Meal Prep in Advance
Not knowing what to eat or waiting until you’re starving to prepare something can lead to impulsive and unhealthy meal choices. Having a menu and preparing your meals in advance keeps you on track. Plus, it saves you time and effort, especially when you lack willpower or energy.
Avoid Crash Diets
Crash dieting is tempting because it gets quick results. However, these diets are unsustainable and can lead to nutritional deficiencies and various adverse health effects. Avoid them at all costs.
Track Your Progress
Track progress daily to stay motivated and on course. Keep a food and exercise journal to see what works well and what doesn’t. Find an app you enjoy using to track your calories and workouts easily. Measuring your progress gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue.
Celebrate Small Achievements
Weight loss is a journey. So, reward yourself when you hit your milestones, whether treating yourself to a slice of your favorite chocolate cake or ordering some takeout. Rewarding yourself gives you something to look forward to.
Don’t Speak Negatively About Yourself or Your Body
Negative self-talk kills progress and motivation. Love and appreciate yourself by replacing self-criticism with self-encouragement and put-downs with affirmations; build yourself up! Love yourself and your body. It makes no sense to tear yourself down.
Share Your Journey
Sharing your weight loss journey with others will encourage them and hold you accountable. Join a weight loss support group or get a workout buddy to boost your motivation and theirs.
While there’s no cookie-cutter approach to health and fitness, there are basic principles we can follow for success. You don’t have to use all fifteen tips; find the ones you like best and use them. These 15 tips are just the starting point for your journey of self-discovery to unlock a healthier and fitter you in 2024!