Pilates, Diet and New Year Resolutions

By Devra Swiger

It’s that time of year again where most everyone is scrambling to make their New Year’s resolutions. With the very best intentions, people embark on a healthy life journey which, sadly, rarely lasts past the second week of January.

In the health and fitness business the most common resolutions are to eat healthier and to get back into tip-top shape. Very rarely do you hear someone proclaim that their resolution for the coming year is to win a hot-dog eating contest or to see how long they can remain seated in front of the television. Nope. Resolutions are almost always about positive lifestyle changes.

Here are a few ways to not only make resolutions, but to also find ways to keep them

1. How to Make Appropriate New Year Resolutions

Everyone seems to have lofty goals for the coming year like giving up sugar completely, losing 40 lbs., starting a new exercise program etc. These are all great goals, but they also may not be attainable. First of all, drastic changes to one’s diet is extremely difficult to maintain. Learning to eat healthier with the occasional cheat is much less difficult. Gradually cutting back on foods that are high in sugar or fats is a good start.  Just allowing yourself to say, ‘cutting back’ instead of ‘giving up’, makes it easier to manage a new healthier diet. 

I tend to believe in the 80/20 plan which means that 80% of your diet is made up of healthy nutrition rich foods and the other 20% is made up of foods that may not rank as high on the healthy eating chart. Once you start eating less of the unhealthy foods, you discover that they aren’t quite as appealing as they once were.

2. Losing a Lot of Weight

First of all, a lot of weight can mean a lot of things. If you need to lose a large percentage of your body weight, it’s best to do this with the help of a medical professional. If it’s just about looking fabulous in a teeny tiny bikini, then this can be accomplished by practicing healthy eating habits as listed above and starting a regular exercise program. Don’t sign up for the intense three times a week boot-camp class if you don’t like intense cardio. You’ll never go and you’ll throw out a lot of money. Start a daily walking program. If you enjoy swimming, find an indoor pool where you can swim laps a few days a week. Do you love riding a bike? Go for it. There are lots of ways to exercise that are actually fun. Do you love Pilates? Find a qualified Pilates instructor in Huntington Beach who can get you set up on a good program. Pilates is fun and appeals to many demographics including the very fit and the not-so-fit.

3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Everyone knows what healthy lifestyle choices are but incorporating them into our daily activities is another story altogether. On January 2nd the odds of jumping out of bed, lacing up your brand-new athletic shoes and then going for a 10-mile run is unlikely. Is there any point in setting goals that are impossible to stick to? Instead, sign up for a running program at a local athletic store or find a friend who also runs and would be willing to join you a few days a week. Start out slow and go from there. Join a Pilates studio but better yet, sign up for a few privates so you can really learn how to do Pilates the correct way.

As far as learning to eat better, stop buying junk food. When it’s not in the house you aren’t going to eat it. Find a healthy dish that you really enjoy. Look for lower calorie alternatives by doing a little research before going to the grocery store. When eating out, make sure to set aside half of the portion to have for lunch the next day and always order a tall glass of water instead of diet Coke or a sugary soft drink.

Good habits take a while to absorb and there will be a few failures along the way, but that’s life. Have a happy and healthy New Year and here’s to a New You!

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