2016 is on the way out and 2017 is getting ready to start. And is the custom every single year, people all around the world have formulated New Year’s resolutions – goals that they want to meet in the new year to improve their lives.
The most popular kinds of New Year’s resolutions revolve around shedding pounds and getting the body of their dreams. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to a third of the US population makes resolutions like these to live healthier lives. One of the main problems that these people run into is that they do not know where to start.
They may be new to the whole “eating healthy” game or they have never done an exercise before. Or the regimens they tried last year did not work and they are looking for ones that do.
Regardless of the reason for them being here trying to find new workout and diet regimens to try for 2017, I hope they will be able to find one that works for them in this list that I compiled. Let’s dive into the best new year diet tips!
1. Get Plenty of Hydration
Most people do not drink enough water. And I really think that water is taken for granted in developed countries like the United States. Other places around the world do not have such easy access to clean drinking water while Americans do not even bother drinking it.
It is time for that to stop. Popular beverages like soft drinks and alcoholic drinks do not hydrate you. In fact, they actually dehydrate you so that you keep feeling thirsty and keep buying those products. On top of that, they contain plenty of empty calories that make you gain a lot of weight.
That habit needs to be kicked and you need to start making it a habit to drink water. Water truly hydrates you and hydration is definitely needed to live a healthy life. I suggest that you drink about 2 liters of water each and every day, but that amount should vary based on what you have eaten throughout the day and what physical activities that you have partaken in during the day.
2. Start Working Out More Often
If you have never followed any kind of workout regimen before, you start off the New Year by committing to one. This does not mean you have to start doing high intensity work outs right off the bat. Work your way up. Start off slow by setting easy goals like working out for at least a half hour a day or something.
Once your body adjusts to the daily exercise, start doing more. Set a new goal to work out for an hour every day, or increase the intensity of the 30-minute workout. And again, you still do not even have to partake in high intensity workouts.
Medical journals have shown that even doing medium intensity workouts can greatly improve your fitness – especially if you have never committed to a workout regimen before. 2017 is the year that you get off your butt and start building that body of your dreams.
3. Add Healthy Foods to Your Diet
Do not worry about calories. They are an unnecessary distraction and only serve to stress people out and discourage them from following through with their diet regimens. Instead, just worry about dropping the unhealthy food habits that you have and substituting them with healthy food choices.
And you do not even have to deprive your sweet tooth – as there plenty of healthy snacking options out there for you to choose from. Stay away from typical unhealthy foods like fried chicken and sugary candy. Grab a granola or protein bar for a snack and for a meal have some baked chicken instead.
Do not overwhelm yourself with the idea of meeting a certain calorie intake limit as you will find that quite stressing.
4. Drop the Idea of “Comfort Foods”
Or at least designate healthy foods to be your new comfort foods. Many people have a problem where they eat a high amount of an unhealthy food to help them cope with emotional events.
You probably hear women talking about eating a whole tub of ice cream after a bad break-up. These are terrible health habits that cause to weight gain and all of the issues associated with that. You need to find other ways to cope with emotional situations – such as going outside for a nice walk around the park, or venting to a friend or family member.
Start up a bubble bath and just lay in the tub for a while. Anything to keep you from munching down on an unhealthy junk food to help you hold back the tears.
5. Get Outside More
In #2 I said that 2017 is the year that you get off your butt and build the body of your dreams. That does not only have to pertain to working out, though. You should also take the effort to just go outside more and socialize with people.
I used to be a huge introvert and it was detrimental to my health. Not only was I more likely to be sedentary for long periods of time, but my social skills also greatly deteriorated and I had real problems having basic conversations with people.
How did I change that? I made it my New Year’s resolution for 2015 to get outside and socialize more. That got me up on my feet and moving around way more than I used to and it also restored my social skills.
Being out and about also makes you less likely to go and grab a snack from the kitchen because you will be busy doing other things. On top of that, going outside and socializing with others boosts your brain health and staves off crippling mental conditions like depression and anxiety.
6. Extract the Sweet Tooth
Or just re-purpose it. In #3 I said that you would not even have to deprive your sweet tooth, and that is true. But if healthy snacks are not enough to satisfy it, you will just have to stay strong and turn down the temptation to grab that sugary snack.
The typical sugary snack bombards you with more than 200 calories. And that is not even the biggest problem. Sugar is super fattening and processed sugar is not used by the body so it is just stored as fat. If you can’t re-purpose your sweet tooth to cause you to crave sweet fruits like apples and strawberries, you may need to extract it.
And that does not require going to the dentist – it requires commitment and strength to resist sugary temptations. Eventually, your cravings will dissipate and/or adjust to your new diet. It takes time and effort, but all weight loss and workout regimens require that.
7. Give Fasting a Try
Before you freak out, I do not mean a Ramadan-like fast where you eat nothing for a month and then have a super huge feast to close out the month. The kind of fasting I am talking about is not eating anything for anywhere from a half a day to an entire day and then finishing the day with a medium sized healthy meal.
For example, you can have supper one day and on the next day, forego breakfast and lunch and close out your fast with supper again. And along the way, do not snack on anything. Some medical experts may recommend against fasting, but the kind of fasting plan I am laying out can actually provide a lot of benefits, including boosting your body’s production and utilization of insulin and blood lipids, as well as achieving and maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
In many cases, fasting has also been shown to increase life spans and even decrease your chances of developing cancer.
8. Get Enough Sleep Each Night
I can’t tell you how many of list articles that I have written that include something about getting enough sleep each night. It is a point that I try to stress in every single health article because sleep is one of the most important functions of your body. Sleeping allows your body to restore itself after a long hard day.
Not to mention, getting roughly 8 hours of sleep will speed up your metabolism and make you more energized for the next day. This way, you won’t feel sluggish throughout the day and be more likely to forego your daily exercise regimen.
Some behaviors you should drop if you have trouble getting enough sleep are sleeping at different times each night, eating a lot right before bed, surfing the web near bedtime, and not pulling “all-nighters” on days that you have off. I recommend setting a bedtime to adhere to each night so that your body can get adjusted to a set routine and make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
9. Go See the Doctor
Look, the symptoms of some illnesses do not present themselves until it is too late. Also, issues that pertain to your cholesterol and blood pressure levels cannot really be known unless you go see the doctor.
If you really care about your health, prove it by going and seeing your doctor at least twice a year. A lot of people are lazy and/or hate going to the doctors so they forego it and end up getting real sick or letting an easily treatable condition become a serious problem. Do not let yourself become one of those people. Call up the doc and set up an appointment at a time of your convenience.
10. Relax to the Max
You cannot lead a happy and healthy life if you are constantly busy and stressed. You need some time every day that you can just wind down and get some nice relaxation. And the eight hours of sleep each night do not really count as relaxation. Stress is a huge obstacle to weight loss as the main stress hormone known as cortisol has been linked to gaining weight. Use your relaxation time to take some stress relieving exercises such as yoga.
11. Your Foods Should Resemble a Rainbow
Foods that are rich in color should be front and center in your diet. And I do not mean colorful candy or something. I am talking about fruits and vegetables with vibrant colors. Fruits are available in all kinds of colors – you have super red apples and strawberries, yellow bananas and lemons, purple grapes, etc.
As for vegetables, most of them are a very vibrant green and are all very good for your health. Countless medical trials have been conducted and it is concrete scientific fact at this point that diets that are rich in leafy green vegetables greatly decrease your chances of developing disease and gaining weight.
And do not worry, you won’t have to eliminate meat or dairy products from your diet entirely. Just consume far less of them than you currently do. Make them more of a special occasion-type meal. Meals that contain fruits and veggies should be front and center, while meals with meat and dairy products should be toward the bottom on the side.
12. Start Eating Seafood
And more specifically, you should start incorporating oily fish like bass and salmon. One of the main reasons I advise this is because oily fish have super high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in them. And these fatty acids provide a truckload of benefits to your health and well-being. These benefits include but are not limited to: enhanced neurological functioning and improved functioning of your cardiovascular system.
Seafood is also super good for you because they have a high amount of protein while not having much saturated fat content. This makes seafood an ideal (and delicious) option for those looking to lose weight.
There is a catch, though. You should not start eating fried fish. I think everyone already know that fried foods in general are bad and fried fish is no exception. Consuming baked or broiled fish is a far better option and science has actually linked fish cooked in those manners to a significantly decreased chance of having a stroke. Before I started caring about my health, I hated seafood. I never ate it and I swore I never would.
That, of course, has changed, but it was not easy. I had to slowly phase seafood into my diet. You may have to do that too. Treat it like the workout regimen, start off slow with easy goals like consuming a seafood-based meal once a week. Then increase your consumption of it as you start getting acclimated to it.
13. Stop Staring at Bright Screens for Hours a Day
When I mentioned relaxation earlier, many of you probably thought that this would be a perfect time to watch some television or hop on the computer for a couple of hours to wind down. I suggest against doing this because staring at these bright screens for hours on end can really screw up your routine.
You will be so immersed into whatever is happening on those screens that you will not want to get up and do anything. You may be too immersed to even realize that it is time for your daily exercise and you will end up foregoing them for that day.
In addition to that, many studies have shown that staring at a TV or computer for hours on end – especially around bedtime – can disrupt your body’s ability to sleep and make you unable to get your sufficient 8 hours of sleep that night.
14. Try High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise
Earlier I said that you should start off slow with some medium intensity workouts if you are new to exercising. #14 is not for you. #14 is for people who are already adjusted to daily exercise and want to boost the effects that the daily exercises have on their muscle building and fat shedding.
What exactly does High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise entail? Basically, you start off the workout by sprinting for a short period of time. Sprinting is considered as a high intensity exercise. After you have finished sprinting, engage in some medium intensity workouts.
Many scientific studies have looked into the effects of high-intensity intermitted exercise and found it to be incredibly effective at building muscle and burning fat. One of the things that I love about high-intensity intermitted exercising is that it does not take much time out of my day (only a few minutes!) and provides me the same, if not more, benefits of a regular half hour to an hour long workout.
If you have more time available for working out, you can even combine the high-intensity intermittent exercising with a medium intensity aerobic workout to maximize your muscle building and fat burning effects. And you will feel great after enduring such a tiring workout that there is no way you could hate it.
15. Do Not Torture Yourself With This Stuff
Let’s face it – if you hate doing something you will be less likely to commit to it. This of course does not apply to jobs, but since there is a financial incentive to commit to a job, you are more likely to put up with it even if you hate it. But this is different. I do not want you to torture yourself with these diet and workout plans.
These should be things that you will enjoy doing so that you will actually commit to doing them properly every day. One of the main reasons that people do not achieve their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight is that they hate the process so much that it discourages them from continuing it.
Phase the changes into your life incrementally so that your body and daily routine have time to adjust. Don’t force yourself to eat healthy foods that disgust you or do workouts that you have trouble doing or really hurt you. Find healthy foods that you think taste good and find healthy workouts that you think feel good. That is the key to sticking to a plan.
16. Try That Detox Thing Out, Take It More Serious
New Year Diet Tips Conclusion!
Many people proudly proclaim, “New Year, new me!”, and yet nothing really changes. Whatever the reasons are, the whole concept of a New Year’s resolution seems to be dropped once the New Year’s holiday passes.
Do not let yourself be one of those people. Follow the recommendations that I listed here so that you really can lose weight and achieve a fit healthy body that you can show off at the beach when summer rolls around. You do not want to be one of those people making the same New Year’s resolution that you did for 2017 when 2018 rolls around.