12th January 2018
Guides & Advice
Like many of us, you may have set the goal to lose weight and get healthy this New Year. January is where we shed those pounds, head to the gym and burn off all those pigs in blankets we indulged in over Christmas. The likelihood that we will follow through with these promises right the way through the year can be daunting however and many return to their old habits.
Research shows that breaking down our New Year’s resolutions and implementing them in small steps helps massively in making them stick long term, So if you’re gunning for results without radically overthrowing your entire lifestyle then look no further.
Losing weight can be a challenge for the best of us, and results come from a mixture of quality exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. You might not even realise that most of your favourite foods are bad for you in the first place!
Be realistic, are you really going to start going to the gym 3/4 times a week and eat nothing but vegetables for every meal right away? Start slow and take it week by week, if you have managed to stick to your weekly goals then reward yourself (don’t undo all of your hard work though!)
Swap out for healthier alternatives in your diet, for example swapping in wholegrain pasta/bread/rice for white or leaner meats with less fat content. This is easier than completely cutting out foods straight away and you should be able to adjust fairly easy.
Try and include more fish in your meals as substitute for other meats. Fish is usually very low in fat and high in omega 3, good for keeping blood pressure down and also good for the brain.
Limit your alcohol – Probably the easiest way to cut out some of the excess calories in your diet is to limit the amount of alcohol you intake regularly, even if it is just having one glass of wine less.
Try and be ‘vegetarian for a day’ to train your mind to make vegetables the main focus of the meal. Most of us simply don’t eat enough vegetables, although they are key for a healthy diet.
Cut your portions down – You will find that a lot of the time you are eating more food than your body actually needs, if you are making a portion of something, for example pasta, try cutting down your portion size by around a quarter and you could see some positive results.
Cut out sugar/salt/oil/fat where they are not absolutely necessary. If you have sugar in your tea/coffee try reducing the amount you have or replacing it completely for sweetener and try to cut out oils high in saturated fat in cooking, switch to an alternative such as olive oil for a healthier option.
Cut out fizzy drinks, even low cal/no sugar ones aren’t the best for you. Aim to drink more water throughout the day instead
Try eating a bigger breakfast – if you eat more wholesome breakfast foods such as fruits, oats and grains this should see you through the day and see less unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
When you break from your new routine don’t punish yourself too harshly. Drastic changes to your diet and eating habits take time to get used to and as the old saying goes, old habits die hard. Instead remind yourself of the end goal and motivate yourself to stick to your new plan.
The perfect partner to a healthy body is a healthy mind. You’ll be more likely to stick to your new targets and healthy eating goals if you limit the amount of stress and anxiety clouding your mind, plus stress eating constitutes a large portion of unhealthy eating habits in the first place. Reducing stress will not only make you feel happier and healthier in general, research shows you’ll also be losing weight in no time.
Schedule in time for yourself, If you’re busy working and rushing around for the most part of your day, make sure to schedule in some time to relax and reflect on yourself on an evening, even if it is just an hour. Listen to some music, learn a new skill, have a bath, do whatever you like just make sure it’s all about you.
Talk your issues out. If you feel like your problems are out of your control it may help to open up and speak to someone about them. Even if they can’t help, voicing your worries helps you to reduce stress and anxiety.
Learn to switch off sometimes, take time away from technology in order to reduce the ‘noise’ and distractions from modern technology. Go for a walk, read a book or spend time with friends and family.
Organise your thoughts and write them down. Carrying stressful thoughts throughout the day with you can keep you up at night worrying about tomorrow, ruining your quality of sleep and in turn, being bad for your health. Studies have shown that journaling your thoughts and feelings before bed reduced worry and stress, increased sleep time and improved sleep quality.
Get outside and take in some fresh air, take advantage of any beautiful scenery around where you live and head into the wild outdoors. Exercise and fresh air work wonders for your sleep quality and in turn, stress reduction.
Don’t rely on a coping mechanism. A large number of people turn to alcohol or smoking to deal with stress and anxiety and while these might help for some temporary relief, they can lead to some serious health issues down the line and become unhealthy habits.
The key to a healthy body and mind begins and ends in bed. Adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night to rest and recover. If we don’t stick to a proper sleep schedule and get the right amount of quality shut-eye then our levels of leptin and ghrelin are affected, meaning our brains signal that we are hungrier and thus, eat more food. Insufficient sleep also affects the body’s ability to process insulin resulting in the body storing more fat from the bloodstream.
So the key to losing weight and getting in shape is to ensure you get a good snooze in, and the key to a great night’s sleep is the right mattress. Create your own sleep sanctuary with our full range of Somnus beds and mattresses.