Back to Basics
A lot of the time with health and fitness we accidentally over complicate things for ourselves, especially in January. Most people try drastic changes that they hope will make a difference, some common ones are cutting out a food group and overtraining. This is all without having the ‘basics' in place first. If we're not already doing the basics of nutrition and lifestyle then realistically we're not going to give ourselves the best chance of success. There's a quote that goes something like “without a solid foundation, you'll have trouble creating anything of value”. In health and fitness terms I take this to mean if we do not lay the foundations, it'll make every other step that much harder and more challenging - and therefore us more likely to fail.
When I mention the basics there are five main points that come to mind:
Increasing water intake
Ideally you should try to aim to drink between 2-4 litres of water per day. But for those drinking nothing at all currently, just try to aim to increase your water intake little by little
Getting more/high quality sleep
Aim to try and get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and reduce evening technology use and light exposure to try and get a better quality sleep. This will help control your hunger hormones for the following day and make you less likely to overindulge. To start improving this a good start is to go bed just 15 minutes earlier each night, and then you can build on this going forward
Improving Stress Management
Some tactics to use to improve stress management can be meditation (my personal favourite is an app called Headspace), some other forms of mediation can be taking a walk or sitting quietly. Also start to prioritise planning time out in your day/week to get some rest and recovery
Exercise of some kind
This can be movement of any kind it doesn't have to be a structured workout plan. Getting out walking can be of great benefit, especially if you find yourself sitting behind a desk all day. Things like weight training and yoga also have positive benefits such as improving mood, strength and reducing stress
Eating Vegetables and Fruits everyday
There have been even higher recommendations than the well know ‘5 a day', some say the closer to 10 you can get the better! Focusing on consuming these fibre and nutrient rich foods is correlated to a large amount of positive health outcomes. Start with adding one more portion of fruit/veg a day to your diet or another alternative is to add some kind of greens powder to you day
Now it's not to say start to do all of these actions at once, but if we can change our focus to ‘mastering the basics' before adding on any extra challenges this will start to make a massive impact on your energy levels and overall well being, and as a result some weight loss may even occur!