Wellness consultant Allie Henderson says to avoid fads, stick to the basics and make a plan.
OREGON, USA – 2023 is here and many use the start of a new year to start one healthier lifestyle. Vowing to exercise more, eat healthier and lose weight are the top three New Year’s resolutions, but how do we get there and make it last?
Health consultant Allie Henderson walks us through a few steps to get you started and on your way to achieving your health and fitness goals.
“Some of us go out and look for these bad diets or crazy exercise plans; looking for something new,” Henderson said.
“And it’s not new, it’s been the same for years.”
Every January we see people flock to the gym, getting carried away by the latest trends, but Henderson says to simply start with the basics: healthy foods and exercise.
Here are her tips for getting started and where to focus:
- Take inventory of your lifestyle: where are you in healthy eating and exercise? What do you need to work harder on?
“We know if we haven’t worked out at all, we know if we eat a little bit of processed food, maybe we eat out a lot and things like that and so don’t worry so much about what everyone else around. you’re doing,” Henderson said.
“Find those areas and then you can look a little more specific.”
- Focus on nutritious foods and beverages, limit those with added sugar, saturated fat and sodium, and stay within calorie limits, according to the USDA.Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Adult women need anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day and adult men need anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.
“The first thing is to give up the diet. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive, but we just want to choose a sustainable and healthy way to eat for the rest of our lives and so find an eating pattern that works for you,” Henderson said.
- Include a variety of foods in your diet and keep portion sizes in mind. Complex carbohydrates: whole grains with fiber. Fruits and vegetables. Lean sources of protein and plant-based fats, such as nuts and avocados.
- Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
- Pay attention to your eating habits and take time to enjoy your meal
“This means that when you’re eating you remove all distractions and really focus on enjoying your food, put down your fork, chewing each bite thoroughly and swallowing before taking the next biteHenderson said.
“Listening to your body to tell you when it’s actually hungry and when it’s full. These are just very simple things that are often forgotten but can go a long way in terms of our health.”
- When it comes to exercise, remember that it’s all about moving your body.
Every week, adults need 150 minutes (2 and a half hours) of physical activity per week. That’s 30 minutes a day, five days a week, According to the CDC.
That physical activity looks different for each individual. You can spread that activity out over the week and break it into smaller chunks each day.
“Find an activity you like. Exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym or just going outside for a run. You know it might look like things like going outside and dancing, setting up obstacle courses with your kids and playing with them, anything that’s going to get your heart rate up counts as exercise,” Henderson said.
“And so you find an activity that you enjoy and then remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be all at once.”
- To help you stick to your exercise commitment, make a plan and find a way to stay accountable.
“Look at your week and realize that you know these are the days and times when I can exercise. Put it on your calendar and figure out what activity you’re going to do,” Henderson said.
“And back to accountability, find someone who can join you and ask them, because then you’ll be much more likely to do it.”