6 Tips for your New Year’s resolution to lose weight

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By Ilse de Graaf

December is a busy time in anyone’s life, it marks the end of the year and the turning clock on New Year’s Eve represents celebration and change. Often people use the new year as a time to set long term goals or resolutions, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on what a fantastic year you have had and what changes you can implement to make the next one even better! Weight loss resolutions are usually right at the top of the list! Unfortunately there is no quick fix for losing weight, any book or blog that claims to have one is lying to you. Think about it, if there was a quick fix, wouldn’t everyone be their ideal weight? That’s why I have come up with my alternative weight loss resolution list, these 10 resolutions will actually help you to lose weight instead of you cutting out carbs for the whole of January and giving up – we’ve all been there right?

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Quit dieting once and for all
Diets don’t work, I’m sorry but they don’t. I mean, sure, you might lose weight on them but they certainly don’t help you to make a long term change – meaning, you inevitably gain the weight back and end up even more unhappy and frustrated than you were to begin with! Believe me, I’ve been there. Weight loss isn’t about abiding by strict rules, it isn’t about cutting out food groups, it isn’t about having cheat days or eating less food. It is about breaking old habits that weren’t working for you and replacing them with better ones that take you in a new, healthier direction. Your mindset, behaviour and habits are the key to reaching your weight loss goals, not following a fad diet.

Focus on being healthy and not losing weight
Focusing on being healthy not only helps you to lose weight, it also keeps your mind healthy. If your main focus is to lose weight then you end up putting too much pressure on losing inches instead of noticing the important changes, the first signs that you are headed in the right direction such as, feeling energised, feeling strong, feeling alert, awake, motivated and happy!

Adopt a more plant focused diet
I am by no means telling you to become a vegan, I myself am not a vegan although I do enjoy many plant based recipes. What I am suggesting is that you add more plants into your diet. Try adding fruit and vegetables to every meal and making them the centre of a dish opposed to making bread, pasta or meat the focus. Instead of having a plain old chicken sandwich why not have one piece of bread and pile it high with hummus, avocado, mustard greens, mixed seeds and a smaller portion of chicken. I promise you it will be more flavorsome, more nutrient rich and leave you feeling more satisfied. When you meal plan, think about what exciting things you can do with fruits as vegetables.

Give your digestion a break
Your digestive system is so important, it is a big player in your overall health. The majority of our digestive systems are overworked, we are breaking down food that we were not designed to eat. Give your digestive system a break this new year and it will reward you! A great way to do this is by reducing your intake of processed foods and understanding which of your food groups digest first. For example, a lot of us would have grown up having fruit as a healthy dessert option when in fact eating fruit after a healthy meal really disrupts your digestion. Fruit digests super quickly so if it is sat on top of your dinner or lunch it is not able to do so. Try having fruit for breakfast or as a snack between meals. Digestion starts in the mouth so remember to chew your food and get those digestive enzymes flowing. Some great foods to help your digestion are fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and our friend, kombucha.

Add exercise into your daily routine
I think it’s safe to say that everyone agrees, exercise is vital, not only for weight loss but to your overall health. We spend far too much of our day sitting down, something that we, as humans weren’t designed to do. If the idea of “exercising” several times a day sounds overwhelming to you, don’t let it put you off. I’m not talking about going to the gym and getting super sweaty five times a day; hardly anyone has time for that. Instead, think about simple ways that you can move more in your everyday life, while you’re at work, during time spent at home or while running errands on the weekends. Easy ways to so this are by choosing to walk instead of driving or taking a cab, pacing whilst you take important phone calls, doing a gentle yoga flow before breakfast. Adding movement into your day should be a non-negotiable.

Make time for you and the things you love
How many times have you started a new book that inevitably ends up back on the shelf? Finding time to maintain hobbies can be extremely challenging. It is extremely important to make time for the things you love. This could mean finding time to cook more at home or dine out more regularly. It could be as simple as finding time to play with your children more or having a nice long soak in the bath. Don’t feel obligated to go to a work social event when what you really want to do is go home early and watch a film with your husband/partner. All too often do we think a goal or resolution should be to do more and to keep ourselves busy when really, relaxing is equally as important. Whatever it is, make time for yourself and the things you love.

I hope you have found my alternative resolutions list helpful. If there are any subjects you would like to hear more about in the form of a blog post please comment below or DM me, I would love to know the subjects that interest you most.

With motivation and self love, go and have the best week Ninja!

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja