[Blog brought to you by The Green Bay Kroc Community Center]
Each new year brings a desire to start fresh. There’s something about the start of a new calendar year that energizes us to make better decisions in our lives, and for some that means making resolutions.
However, resolutions are famous for not being kept. Despite our best intentions we often fall short. Why? Habits are notoriously hard to form and break, and many resolutions are not helpful in forming or breaking habits that lead to lasting change.
So with the help of The Kroc Community Center Sports and Fitness Supervisor, Laurel Parins, here are 4 resolutions you should NOT make this new year:
1. “I’m going to join a weight loss program!”
When your goal is simply to lose weight you place your emphasis (and happiness) on a number on a scale – not on lifestyle changes that lead to you being healthier and happier long term. It’s great to decide to be a healthier weight, but a more sustainable resolution would be one where weight loss is a symptom of healthy lifestyle changes that combine improved diet with cardio and strength exercise.
Instead of: Cutting calories…
Try this: Reduce processed foods. Cook more, using “whole” foods like fruits, vegetables, meat and grains.
2. “I’m going to cut the fat from my diet!”
Fats are included in the food pyramid for a reason – our bodies need fat to function healthily. Cutting all or most of the fat from your diet means you’re also missing the healthy fats that can lower your cholesterol, protect your organs and keep your body healthy.
Instead of: Going on a “low-fat” diet…
Try this: Increase your consumption of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in fish, nuts and avocado. Limit your consumption of trans and saturated fats, like those in butter, coconut oil and fatty cuts of meat.
3. “I’m going vegan/vegetarian!”
While there is nothing wrong with deciding to become vegan or vegetarian, the risk comes in applying this decision overnight. Eliminating an entire food group from your diet can be accompanied by negative effects if done improperly, because you need to know and understand what you’ll be missing so you can fill those nutritional gaps. Missing out on nutrients could cause you to lose hair, feel lightheaded and feel cold often, among other effects.
Instead of: Becoming vegan/vegetarian overnight…
Try this: Meet with your Doctor or a Dietician. They can recommend healthy ways to compensate for the lost nutrients. If you’re making this change for dietary reasons, consider keeping fish in your diet as it supplies a lot of healthy fat and protein.
4. “I’m going to work out every day!”
Being more active is a great goal to have, but developing habits that are sustainable goes beyond trudging to the gym every day. If you don’t already workout regularly, developing a punishing workout routine may not give you the results – physically or emotionally – that you’re hoping for. By taking things slow and incorporating cardio and strength exercise with improved diet you can make real change. It might not be the drastic transformation you envisioned, but it will be something that you can achieve over time and maintain for the long haul.
Instead of: Working out every day and expecting to drastically transform your body…
Try this: Start slow. Meet with a personal trainer who can tailor your exercises to your goals. Incorporate strength training along with your cardio to build muscle that will help you burn more calories and feel stronger. Don’t forget about diet. Exercise alone isn’t the solution.
Deciding to live a healthier life is a great decision no matter the time of year. Whether you make a formal resolution or quietly resolve to make changes, The Kroc Community Center family wishes you the best of luck. You’ve got this! And if you need us, we’re here to help.
Let’s make 2017 great!
This makes perfect sense. Thanks Laurel.