Why Your 2020 New Year’s Health or Fitness Resolution Might Be Proven Outdated by 2030

Each year, as the calendar turns from December to January, millions of people make resolutions. And each year, surveys show, many of those self-promises relate to wellness, whether it’s losing weight, eating better, exercising more or simply getting healthier.

But “getting healthier” isn’t a fixed concept. If health advice is anything, it’s fickle. While some concepts stand the test of time—eat fruits and vegetables, get plenty of sleep, exercise when you can—other trends are over practically as soon as they begin. (Remember appetite-suppressant lollipops and Shake Weights?)

As a result, resolutioners of 2010 likely had different goals than will resolutioners of 2020. Here’s a look back at prominent health advice from 2010—and how it stands up going into 2020.

Nutrition

2010

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a new version of its federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans in December 2010. Among long-standing recommendations—such as eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and plenty of whole grains—the guidelines also advised Americans to limit saturated fats to 10% of caloric intake; increase low-fat dairy consumption; and limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day.

But, of course, federal dietary guidelines aren’t the arbiter of how people eat. Pop culture also plays a big part, and 2010 was a banner year for fad diets. Several of them, oddly enough, involved not eating solid food. Juicing was everywhere, and the “Baby Food Diet” hit the internet, encouraging followers to replace breakfast, lunch and snacks with container after container of baby food. Plenty of people chased all that juice and mush with apple cider vinegar, in hopes of aiding digestion and suppressing appetite, according to Insider.

2020

While nutrition science changed quite a bit throughout the decade, the next version of the Dietary Guidelines, published in December 2015 and meant to last until 2020, included relatively few significant changes. For the first time, HHS suggested a specific cap on added sugars (less than 10% of daily calories), reflecting the broader war on sugar that took hold in the 2010s, sparked by rising rates of obesity and diabetes and replacing the war on fat that took place in the 1980s and 90s.

Meanwhile, the guidelines eliminated its recommended cap on cholesterol, focusing instead on the need to avoid saturated and trans fats, while continuing to push for low-fat dairy—advice that was controversial in 2015, and has only become more so. As fat phobia fades further from memory, a number of studies have suggested that a fat-rich diet may actually prevent obesity and diabetes by balancing blood sugar and boosting satiety. In step with the resurgence of fat, the pendulum has swung from one dieting extreme (juice cleanses) to the other: meat-heavy meal plans like the ketogenic diet, which all but eliminates carbohydrates so that the body can shift to drawing its energy from fat.

But perhaps the most drastic change to take hold since 2010 is the way Americans think about dieting in the first place. The 2010s saw a major shift in the way people—and the media—talk about health, as emphasis on weight-loss and thinness began to give way (albeit not completely) to ideals of strength, holistic health and body positivity. As such, new measures of dieting success began to emerge, like “clean eating” (usually defined as eating whole foods instead of processed versions) and having a healthy gut microbiome. The broader self-care revolution has extended to food, leading many people to self-soothe conditions like anxiety and burnout with adaptogens, herbs thought to help the body fend off physical and emotional stress.

Alcohol

As they had for years prior, the federal dietary guidelines in 2010 recommended that adults who drink do so in moderation—which, according to HHS, meant a drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less per day for men.Some doctors even encouraged moderate drinking, especially red wine, for its anti-aging and heart-healthy properties.

On paper, that recommendation stands going into 2020, but the conversation started to change in 2018 and 2019. Several prominent studies published in those years suggest that there is no safe amount of drinking, and that the heightened risk of conditions like cancer and obesity associated with alcohol outweigh any of its possible cardiovascular benefits. The self-care, mindfulness and wellness movements also converged to produce a shift away from heavy drinking, especially among millennials. Beverage makers responded in kind, rolling out a slew of non- or low-alcohol options, such as low-alcohol-by-volume craft beers and booze-free, botanical spirits. Seltzer also continues to reign supreme.

Fitness

Exercise in 2010 was about roughing it. New books and studies brought paleo fitness (a primal fitness regimen that promotes moving like early man) and barefoot running into public consciousness, and ultra-intense bootcamp classes began working their way up the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual list of fitness trends for the first time. (On a lower-key note, yoga continued its ascent after being introduced to the U.S. decades earlier.) CrossFit, the notoriously intense workout program, was also well on its way to the full-fledged phenomenon it would become a few years later. The most recent federal physical activity guidelines at the time, published in 2008, seemed to support the more-exercise-is-better mindset. Though the guidelines did say all exercise is beneficial, it encouraged 150 minutes or more of weekly moderately-intense exercise in chunks of 10 minutes or longer.

While boutique fitness studios peddling ultra-intense boxing, bootcamp, rowing, running and CrossFit workouts are still trendy, the research community has other ideas. Numerous studies have found that short bouts of physical activity, even at low intensity, can prolong lifespan and prevent chronic illness, in some cases just as well as more intense, longer-duration exercise. The latest update to the federal physical activity guidelines, in 2018, agree that any exercise is better than none, even if it’s just a few minutes at a time. Not coincidentally, studios meant for napping and meditation, along with yoga, began popping up in cities all over America in the last few years of the decade.

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Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected]

New Years Healthy Eating Plan for a Slim Resolution

Here’s a healthy eating plan & simple fitness tips to help change stress related eating into healthy eating habits – to make your New Years resolution a success!

With the holidays almost over, visions of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie might be dancing in your head, but don’t let all the healthy eating habits you’ve cultivated this year go to “waist.” There is a sensible way to navigate the season’s parties and dinners and still stay true to your healthy eating plan and fitness goals. Following this combination of smart diet and workout fitness tips – and following these stress related eating tips – will help ensure that the only thing getting stuffed this holiday season is the bird.

Healthy Eating Plan

• Be thankful. Take a minute to recognize the positive things you’ve done for yourself such as quitting smoking, boosting healthy eating habits, or joining a gym. It can help you battle weak moments when you want to skip your fitness workouts or take home all the leftovers.

• Set the stage. You know you’re headed to your Great-Aunt Doris’s for New Years dinner, and you can’t wait to dig into her garlic mashed potatoes. So why not lift weights or go for a run beforehand? Not only is it an excellent way to show your body a little gratitude for getting you through the year, it adds a bit more caloric room in your healthy eating plan for splurges.

Stress Related Eating

• Separate food from family. No, I don’t mean you shouldn’t eat and celebrate with everyone; just don’t let all those family issues that tend to crop up at this time of year cause stress related eating habits to interfere with your wellness goals. Overeating because you’re anxious, nervous, stressed, or angry hurts only you. Try to keep your thoughts about–and reactions to–your family and friends independent of your enjoyment of food.

• Never go to a party hungry. That’s not to say you should have two dinners, but by practicing healthy eating habits by eating a small protein-packed meal at home, such as half a peanut butter sandwich, will keep you from stalking the buffet.

Fitness Tips

• Rethink exercise. Some people just give up on working out until January, while others get stressed trying to rigidly stick with what they’ve done all year long. Neither approach is realistic. You need exercise to help you combat the stress, stress related eating, and weight gain that come with the season. Instead of trying to squeeze in your hour-long workouts, do what you can–even if it’s only five, 10, or 20 minutes. Everything counts!

Following these healthy eating habits and fitness tips will help you achieve your New Years resolution.

7 Ways to Stick to Your Weight Loss New Year’s Resolution

As January comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on New Year’s resolutions and how to turn your #HappyWeight goals into positive lifestyle changes. Whether you’re in a successful routine or struggling to see desired results, Atkins is on your side and it’s easier than ever to stick to your resolutions. Just remember, this is only the beginning of your best year and best body yet! To help reach your personal health goals, follow our seven tips below to help you stay on track and live a low-carb lifestyle all year:

1. Review Your Timeline

Understanding your goals and what it takes to get there can sometimes be half the battle. You may have promised yourself to “lose weight,” but make sure you have a realistic and measurable timeline in place to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s an example: I want to lose 24 pounds in four months by following a low-carb diet.

2. Find a Supportive Community

You should be proud of your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and positive vibes from friends and family can take you a long way. If you’re following the Atkins program, joining one of our community groups and forums is a great way to give and receive support throughout your weight loss journey.

3. Amp Up Your H2O

By now you surely know the importance of drinking water, especially because your body can sometimes confuse thirst for hunger. Challenge yourself by setting a goal to drink eight glasses of water per day, and even mix things up by infusing your water with produce to add some flavor. What you should use for water infusion may vary based on your current Atkins Phase, but some general low-carb-friendly options include fresh cucumbers and peaches.

4. #NewRecipeMondays

Low-carb cooking is anything but boring. If you fear getting stuck in a menu routine, try starting off each week by spicing up the palate with something new from the Atkins Recipe Page. Plus, follow us on Instagram (@atkinsnutritionals) for some delicious-looking #lowcarb pic-spiration.

5. Treat Yourself

Make sure to not only celebrate your ultimate goal, but also your smaller accomplishments along the way. Reward yourself with something that makes you happy and reinforces your healthy commitment—something sweet like a Milk Chocolate Delight Shake or even go all out with a relaxing day at the spa. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to be a part of your success.

6. Stay Active

Even if you haven’t hit up the gym as much as you’d like, any increase in your activity level is a great way to encourage healthy weight loss. If your cardio dance class just isn’t going to happen today, one way you can make sure you stick to your low-carb diet after January is to go for a 30-minute walk before lunch time or maybe take the stairs over the elevator. Every little thing adds up.

7. Don’t Give Up

If you’re not seeing the results you want right away, don’t feel discouraged or let go of your plan—stick to your New Year’s Diet plan and make adjustments to your diet where needed. You and your personal health are worth it! It’s important to remember that you’ve committed to a lifestyle change, not a quick-fix. We are confident that with time you’ll find your #HappyWeight, and always remember that the Atkins program is here for you every step of the way.

We’ve got everything you need to keep up with healthy New Year’s resolutions. Register online today for support groups, recipes, tools, and apps.

With Atkins® products and low carb recipes, losing weight just got easier. Register to get started with us today.

For many of us cyclists, New Year’s resolutions take the form of more ambitious training plans and fresh riding goals. But January also means a renewed effort to improve your life in other ways, including to lose weight for some and get faster on the bike. It sounds enticingly simple.

But before you go buy a new bathroom scale and start cutting calories willy-nilly, it’s worth remembering that most people quit their diets almost as soon as they start them. Multiple studies suggest that for most people, it’s difficult, almost impossible, to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. Biologically, your body wants to stay in balance and avoid drastic changes in its weight and composition.

“We can’t always be eating this crazy restrictive diet,” says Heather Caplan, a registered dietician. “It’s not biologically what we’re designed for.”

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a hard look at your nutrition as you chase your goals in the new year. While it can be difficult to shift that needle on the scale, better food choices will almost certainly improve your health over the long term—and there’s a good chance it’ll make you a better cyclist, too. Here are seven tips that will help you approach your weight loss goals in a way that is realistic, doable, and sustainable.

1. Avoid cutting out entire food groups.

While you may be looking to eat fewer calories overall, you’ll still want to eat a variety of foods. “If you’re really active, your energy needs are typically higher, and you also need more of certain micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals,” Caplan says. Eating a variety of foods including grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit will ensure that your body gets the full array of nutrients it needs.

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Although you can rely on supplements to fill in any gaps, they are not always as easy for your body to absorb. “We digest vitamins and minerals from food more efficiently,” says Caplan.

Nixing a certain food entirely is often a sure-fire way to ensure that you cheat on your fresh new diet. “Eliminating food groups is a form of restriction, and we often respond to restriction with craving,” says Caplan. Sometimes, pent-up desire for a food means you’ll eat even more of it than you otherwise would. “Each food group has something that it’s bringing to the table.”

2. Pay attention to your cravings.

Even if you’re eating a variety of foods, you may still experience cravings. After all, the siren song of your favorite dessert never sounds louder than it does when you are trying to lose weight.

But it’s worth paying attention to these cravings and when they occur. “If you’re significantly under-fueling for your sport or activity level, it’s possible you might have cravings for things that are high in sugar and fat, just as a physiological response,” says Caplan. If you’re feeling a desperate craving for an entire box of cookies on the same day as you finished a long ride, for example, you may need to add healthy calories, such as whole grains or lean protein, to your diet for those bigger volume days.

3. Don’t be a slave to the scale.

There’s an argument to be made that weighing yourself regularly provides accountability and helps reinforce your efforts to follow those New Year’s resolutions. But Caplan suggests that it can become a negative drag on your efforts to build a healthy and sustainable relationship with your food. “My first piece of advice is just get rid of it!” she says. “I know that’s easier said than done, but sometimes you just have to rip the Band Aid off.”

Instead of focusing on the number on your scale, tune into how your body feels. Do your clothes fit comfortably? Do you have enough energy to do your workout? It’s an important skill for cyclists to be able to listen to their bodies and know what they need—whether it’s a workout or a healthy snack.

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If you decide to continue to weigh yourself, remember that fluctuations in your weight are natural and normal. “We’re not going to weigh the same thing every day,” says Caplan. “It’s just not physically possible.” And that change in your body composition is more important than a change on the scale. For example, muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat so if you are able to lose fat and gain muscle, you will weigh more, but have a better, healthier body composition than before.

4. Remember that your nutrition needs are unique to you.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your meals to those of your ride buddies, friends, or family members. “Your activity, your athletic goals, your lifestyle—they’re all unique to you,” says Caplan. “Remember at the end of the day, what matters is what’s best for you.” Stay focused on your own nutrition needs and skip the comparisons.

5. Don’t get discouraged.

For many people, dieting doesn’t lead to long-term weight loss. “We have a lot of diet and weight loss research that says that our bodies are really not manipulatable,” says Caplan. “Very few people can maintain weight loss long term.”

But creating a nutrition plan that focuses on healthy food choices can offer plenty of benefits for cyclists, even if the number on the scale refuses to budge. For example, you may find you have more energy on the bike, thanks to your healthier choices, and you’re enjoying your rides more. You might just snag that KOM you’ve been eyeing, too.

6. Good nutrition is self-care.

Think about good food choices as a form of self-care. “Focus on the ways that you respect your body and take care of it, instead of focusing on what you want to change about it,” says Caplan. Or worse, that you “deserve” that extra scoop of ice cream or the fast food burger.

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When chasing goals such as faster times on the bike or a lighter weight on the scale, we sometimes get caught up in all the ways we’re not good enough. Try to keep your inner narrative positive by reminding yourself of the many amazing things your body can do and the ways that your new, healthier diet is a commitment to caring for this magic machine.

7. Ask an expert.

We can all benefit from friends on the road, and seeking advice from a registered dietician or sports nutritionist is a great way to dial in your diet. There’s an overabundance of conflicting information out there and checking in with an expert can help you sort it out and get a personalized plan. “I don’t think it’s on the athlete to know everything,” says Caplan. A dietician or nutritionist can help you learn more about your body’s needs and how to meet them in a way that’s sustainable and satisfying.

The weight-loss goal is easily the most popular New Year’s resolution of all time. Gyms flood in January, and markets are cleared out of their healthy staples like kale and quinoa. Then sometime around early February, no one remembers what a New Year’s resolution even is, let alone what they’re doing for their weight-loss goals.

The best way to approach this? Make yourself a strategy. Use one of these tips for each month of the year and fill out your calendar for 2018 with what you plan to do, January through December. These weight-loss tips have been proven to be effective — and they’re impossibly simple to implement.

One month you’ll be drinking more water, and the next trying new veggie recipes — but the common theme throughout the year is that you’ll be hitting your weight-loss goals. Try these 12 tips in 2018 to have your most successful year yet . . . and don’t forget about that gym membership you paid all that money for!

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  1. Join a gym (or a boutique studio that you love): One of the first steps to moving more is committing yourself to a routine. Whether this is your local gym, or a yoga studio near your office, make it convenient. You won’t go if it’s too far away or has crazy hours that don’t work with your schedule. Also, ensure that you love the style of exercise if it’s a studio — you also won’t go if you hate the workout!
  2. Get a tracker: Like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, specifically! These trackers serve as constant reminders that you need to move more. You’ll get little vibrations and notifications telling you to stand and move — some even tell you to run! Like tying a string around your finger to remind you of a task, these trackers go with you everywhere to remind you to make healthier choices.
  3. Try a new workout: Mixing it up is often the key to success — especially if you’ve hit a plateau. Challenge your body in new ways by trying a workout you’ve never done before. One month, pick this new activity you’re interested in, and stick it out for the whole four weeks. Do it regularly, even if it’s a challenge. Not only will you learn a new skill and mix things up for your body, but you’ll feel stronger and more empowered, too.
  4. Try four new veggie recipes: Adding more vegetables to your diet is essential to weight loss. Find the ones you actually love, and your favorite way to prepare them so you can fall back on your own staple healthy recipe all year long. Not a fan of brussels sprouts? Try a zucchini recipe. Keep going until you find what you love.
  5. Add a vegetable to every meal: We spoke with one woman who told us this was one of the keys to her success — and she lost over 100 pounds! Adding something green to each meal (yes, even breakfast!) will help you get the nutrients you need all day long and create better, long-lasting, healthy habits.
  6. Cut out sugar for one week: Longer if you can! If you find that you’re totally addicted to sugar, that can be a major obstacle in your weight-loss journey. Set aside a week to eliminate processed and added sugars — natural sugar is OK! If you can keep going, aim for three weeks; that’s how long it’ll take you to really break a habit.
  7. Learn how to count macros . . . and track them for one week to start: Macros are the fats, protein, and carbohydrates in your diet — and the way you balance them can help you lose weight. Start with recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get a better idea of what your food can look like with macro counting.
  8. Drink a glass of water before every meal: Did you know that our brains often confuse thirst for hunger? Drinking more water — especially before meals — can help control appetite and help you lose weight.
  9. Get eight hours of sleep every night: Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak listed sleep as a massive component to weight-loss success. You’ll have more energy for your workouts and more alertness to make better dietary choices.
  10. Eat more (healthy) breakfasts: Make it your goal to always eat a healthy breakfast, but one month this year, learn a new breakfast recipe, and make it at least twice a week. Breakfast can kickstart your metabolism, curb a sweet tooth, and control appetite — all leading to weight loss!
  11. Practice mindful eating: Slow down, pause, put your fork down between bites. If overeating or eating too quickly has been a challenge for you, this is an essential practice to take up. Choose a month to practice your mindful eating with every single meal. You might be able to stop food cravings for good!
  12. Focus on digestion: Take one month to focus on digestion-friendly foods (lots of fiber!), probiotics, and even a digestion-aiding practice like acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine. By keeping things regular, you’ll feel better, lighter, and slimmer.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim

WITH the new year upon us, most of us are making resolutions to adopt a healthier lifestyle, lose weight or hit the gym more regularly.

However, as research has shown, New Year’s resolutions are even easier to break than they are to make.

2 There are some simple steps you can take to ensure you stick to your New Year fitness resolutionCredit: Getty – Contributor

In fact, only a quarter of us who make resolutions keep them for the full year, with 22 per cent ditching theirs just six days into January.

However, top personal trainer Harry Thomas has revealed that you can easily stick to your 2020 fitness and weight loss goals if you follow some simple steps.

In particular, he emphasises the need to set an achievable goal, measure progress and stay committed.

Here, Harry, owner of No1 Fitness, takes us through the main ways everyone can stay on track with their New Year’s fitness resolutions in 2020…

1. Focus on the bigger picture

With New Year’s resolutions you need to focus on the bigger picture and work towards something that runs throughout the year.

The first mistake is that New Year’s resolutions in most people’s minds usually means a January resolution, and getting back to feeling healthy again.

However, health and fitness goes far beyond what happens in a month, and to get the weight loss that you want, it’s going to take much longer than 30 days.

But don’t worry, you will see results all the way through, you just need to look out for them that’s all.

2. Set yourself an achievable goal

Focus on what you really want to achieve and why you want to lose weight, how much you want to lose and what it would do for your life if you did this.

Write down a number of goals that you want to achieve, and ask yourself why for each one of them.

2 Harry recommends writing down a number of goals that you want to achieveCredit: Harry Thomas

A great question to ask yourself is, ‘in the next six months if you were at your best version of yourself, what’ s changed from today?’

The answers will usually have many of your goals and wants in there and having a strong goal is what keeps you going.

3. Measure progress

This is a must and for me the main reason people fail.

Every year so many people start with great intentions – they are now training four to five times per week, eating healthy, removing alcohol and junk food.

But by the time it gets to the end of the month they have fallen off the wagon.

When I ask why, the same answer usually appears – ‘I wasn’t seeing any results’.

To get results and to stay motivated you must see changes, which means we need to become more aware of them and start looking.

I recommend taking photos of your progress – even if you don’t like the way you look.

Take photos of your progress – even if you don’t like the way you look

Harry Thomas, PT at No1 Fitness

Get your belly out and legs out if you want them areas to change and after a few weeks comparing you will be surprised what you can see.

Use scales, people say these are bad and we should focus on other things, but if your goal is weight loss, this is the BEST way to see progress.

Clothes are a great way to see changes – that dress that’s sitting in your wardrobe, or your old jeans you want to get back into, the clothes don’t lie and will quickly show change.

Circumference measurements, body fat machines are two other ways.

Be consistent measuring, I recommend once per week, same day, same time, make testing fair.

Then look for the other wins like energy and sleep, you’ll soon start seeing changes all the time.

4. Be mindful about your food and exercise

You must start exercising and you need to pay attention to food.

You can still have a life, you can still eat carbs, you can still enjoy the progress.

One thing that some do which is wrong, is completely remove everything out of their diet and it’s just not sustainable.

You will just get cravings or become a recluse stuck in your bedroom saying no to social nights out.

NHS advice on calorie intake

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight.

For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day.

These values can vary depending on age, size and levels of physical activity, among other factors.

Our bodies need energy to keep us alive and our organs functioning normally.

When we eat and drink, we put energy into our bodies. Our bodies use up that energy through everyday movement, which includes everything from breathing to running.

To maintain a stable weight, the energy we put into our bodies must be the same as the energy we use through normal bodily functions and physical activity.

An important part of a healthy diet is balancing the energy you put into your bodies with the energy you use.

For example, the more physical activity we do, the more energy we use.

If you consume too much energy on one day, do not worry. Just try to take in less energy on the following days.

Source: NHS

Be mindful of what you are eating, maybe set yourself a weekly goal, i.e. no drinking, no chocolate and work on one thing at time.

Training sessions should be at least four times per week or more in my option to get best results.

This could be a combination of cardio and weights, just make sure you get something in.

If you struggle for motivation, get yourself signed up to some group training.

Classes are very popular and a great way to be more accountable and get extra motivation from others.

5. Stay committed

This is key. Many people want to get results, but are not prepared to make any changes to get them.

If you do the same things as what you’ve always done, you’ll never get anywhere.

Ask yourself out of ten, how much am I willing to score myself on what I am going to put in.

If you say five, that’s no problem, but be prepared that results will still come, but just a little longer. Keep at it.

Results never happen over night, it takes time

Harry Thomas PT No1 Fitness

Results NEVER happen over night, it takes time, but once you get in the flow and your mojo has reappeared results keep coming.

I suggest to set your first check point for 12 weeks.

Be prepared to stick it out and be consistent and all the hard work and sacrifices made will be worth it.

Your thoughts are always going to be throwing curve balls at you.

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Telling you to stay in bed when the alarm goes off, talking you out of going after work due to a long stressful day, or finding any excuse to get out of it.

Be strong and committed to the goal you want to achieve.

Let’s make 2020 a year where results keep coming. Congratulate yourself when you make achievements and keep reminding yourself that more will follow if you keep it going.

You can sign up for personal training sessions with Harry at his gym No1 Fitness here.

Love Island’s Lucie Donlan loses weight loss through surfing, skiing and hitting the gym

Week #1: Are You Ready for a Change?

Most diet plans tell you to start losing weight right NOW. Never mind that you’re working 70-hour weeks or you’re taking care of two toddlers and a sick parent, and that right now, quite honestly, is not a very convenient time to start to follow a strict diet and hit the gym every day. What you really need to do to lose weight successfully is figure out what’s realistic for your “real” life. (Are you ready for a complete lifestyle overall right now? Take our quiz.) No matter what’s going on in your life, a good first step to making healthy diet changes is starting a food diary where you record everything you eat and drink-and how many calories these foods and beverages contain. Do this for a week to get a sense of what you’re eating now.

Articles, tips and community discussion:

  • *Are you ready for a change? Take our quick quiz to figure out if this is a good time for you to start a diet.
  • *Consider the pros and cons of making a strong commitment to losing weight.
  • *Learn why starting your food diary is so important.
  • *Community discussion: Tell us what you’ve learned from self-tracking.

Tools to help you this week:

  • *Track your weight
  • *Find calorie counts
  • *Quick tips for eating out

Featured recipe: Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute

EatingWell Diet Challenge

More Resources

50 Recipes for Your New Year’s Weight-Loss Resolution

After completing the marathon of eating and drinking that is the holiday season, we wake up on January 1 prepared to make a fresh start. We’ve reflected on the year behind us and begin to welcome in the new opportunities and challenges the New Year holds. For many of us, making New Year’s resolutions is an important part of this process. While some simply vow to binge-watch that show they’ve been wanting to see on Netflix, others take this opportunity to make promises to themselves regarding self-improvement. According to a Nielsen survey conducted last January, the top resolution among Americans for 2015 was to “stay fit and healthy.”

The New Year is a great time to embark on a healthy eating plan, not only because you’ll have the support of others doing the same, but because making a resolution for the year implies a more long-lasting change. “Going on a diet assumes that one day you will go off it,” says certified integrative nutrition health coach and kitchen coach Liza Baker. A New Year’s resolution, on the other hand, implies that this endeavor will be sustained for the rest of the year, and maybe even for the rest of time. It isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle change.

Sarah Krieger, a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist, urges her clients to focus on just one meal at a time to boost confidence. “It may take a whole year just to get used to new eating habits,” she says. “And that’s OK if it means the changes will stick forever!” Similarly, Dr. David Greuner, one of New York’s top cardiovascular surgeons, believes in the power of positive lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes. Just as someone who underwent weight loss surgery must learn to change his or her long-term food choices to avoid rebound weight gain, he says, anyone embarking on a healthy eating plan must focus on making sustainable, realistic changes.“It may take a whole year just to get used to new eating habits. And that’s OK if it means the changes will stick forever!” -Sarah Krieger, registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist

To give you the best advice on transitioning into a healthy, happy New Year, we reached out to more than 30 nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, and other health experts. They gave us their top tips for people starting their New Year’s weight loss resolution, as well as their favorite healthy recipes. We’ve compiled a list of the 50 best recipes we received, broken up into groups of 10 for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. Each is formulated to help you lose weight while staying nourished and energized. This isn’t about restricting your diet and depriving yourself. It’s about enjoying wholesome and delicious food.

“Over time, you will see that you will begin to crave healthy foods as your body changes for the better,” Gaby Wilday, the founder of No Fuss Lunch, assures us. By fueling your body with wholesome foods, you’ll not only lose weight, but also improve your overall nutritional status. This is essential to protecting your body against a host of preventable illnesses, including cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Need we say more? Get started today and make 2016 your healthiest year yet!

As soon as January hits, the majority of us want to curl up in a ball in complete denial that we’ve gained over half a stone from copious amounts of mince pies and endless turkey dinners. Failing that, there’s always the option of throwing out the old scales in a desperate hope the new ones will tell us something marginally more hopeful.

But if — like us — you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to dieting, we reveal the most common diet mistakes (that we’re all guilty of making) that can throw your diet plans into total disarray.

Whether you’re a slave to the scales or a sucker for the sweet stuff, here are the dreaded diet mistakes to avoid if you’re aiming to lose the excess turkey trimmings this January!

1. Setting yourself unobtainable goals

Telling yourself you’re going to the gym five times a week or cutting out carbs completely will only set yourself up for failure, because when something inevitably does crop up or you find yourself tucking into a towering ham and cheese sandwich, you’ll beat yourself up about not sticking to your original plan.

Instead, start by setting yourself small targets. Aim to lose one or two pounds per week, or stick to a specific calorie count that won’t leave you too hungry – that way you’ll stop yourself reaching for the biscuit tin during your mid-afternoon hunger slump!

Another handy trick: instead of telling yourself ‘Lose weight’, try telling yourself to ‘eat a healthy, balanced diet’, ‘exercise more’ or ‘stick to one piece of chocolate’ instead. These are positive goals that you’ll want to stick to.

The same applies to your fitness regime. Don’t over do it. Set yourself realistic targets that you know you can conquer – and fit into your schedule – that way you can always increase your exercise frequency when you feel you are able.

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2. Skipping meals


Scrimping on breakfast or skipping lunch won’t do your body any favours, and will make you hungrier too, so try to eat a balance of healthier meals that will fill you up instead, that way you’ll feel satisfied and less likely to snack on sugary or fatty treats when the hunger pangs hit. Fill up on a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs or an omelette, to keep your body fully fuelled for the day ahead.

3. Eating salads

Whilst eating salads can be a healthy meal option, when dieting it’s best to give your body all the nutrients it needs, especially if you’re exercising regularly. If you starve your body of essential nutrients you’re more likely to feel hungrier and risk falling at the first hurdle.

Instead, try a balanced diet full of protein and fibre to keep you full. Add meats, fish, vegetables and pulses to your leaves to bulk out your salad.

Lowering carbs always helps if you want to shed a few pounds, but you don’t have to cut them out altogether. Opt for high-fibre, unprocessed carbs like quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat noodles instead.

Need inspiration? We’ve got loads of healthy recipes right here.

4. Being a slave to the scales

There are really no benefits to weighing yourself on a daily basis. Your weight can fluctuate so much when you’re dieting, so you could lose a little one day then gain a few pounds the next.

To avoid any disappointment, weigh yourself weekly instead. It takes time to reach your set diet goals, and if you do have a relapse, just try again the week after until you reach your aim.

5. Eating diet meals

Contrary to popular belief, diet meals can actually contain high levels of salt and sugar that can leave you feeling hungry after you’ve finished your meal. Try cooking from scratch instead, using fresh, healthy ingredients. That way you know what you’re putting into your meal and can control your salt and sugar intake.

Foods like grilled fish, meats, vegetables and unprocessed carbohydrates such as sweet potato, brown rice and quinoa are all great diet-friendly foods to stock up on.

6. Drinking booze

You may think the odd glass of wine won’t make much difference, but when a large glass of your favourite vino can contain up to a shocking 280 calories – that’s more calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger – a glass or two every night can really pile up the calorie count.

Try a few low-calorie wines instead or diet-friendly cocktails to keep your calorie count to a bare minimum. Adding soda water to your wine will make your glass last longer, so you’ll trick yourself into drinking less!

7. Not snacking

If you’re hungry, your body is telling you it needs to eat. But to avoid snacking on unhealthy nibbles like chocolate and crisps, stock up your snack drawer with nuts, dried fruits and popcorn instead. This way you can satisfy your hunger cravings without piling on any excess pounds.

8. Avoiding fats


Ok, we’re not saying tuck into a cheeseburger and chips every night, but healthy fats such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and oils – including coconut and extra virgin olive oil – can actually help with weight loss and will also keep your body healthy and fighting fit too. Just remember to eat in moderation, as eating too much can cause you to gain weight.

9. Sugar spikes

If you’re feeling a low mid-afternoon slump, your body may feel like it’s craving sugar to give it a boost of energy, but sugary drinks and snacks will spike insulin levels and cause your blood sugar to crash immediately afterwards.

Fizzy drinks are culprits when it comes to gaining calories, so swap to fizzy water instead flavoured with natural fruits, and try to use healthier sweet alternatives like coconut, vanilla, honey and cinnamon to add an extra hint of natural sweetness.

10. Flying solo

If no one else knows about your healthy living plan, it can be even harder to stick to – essentially you’re your own boss!

If you want some support to help you stick to your diet and fitness plan, tell your partner or a close friend, ask them to join in, or even sign up to a charity sport event, this will push you and encourage you to succeed.

Carla Griscti Digital Writer As a digital writer for Prima Online and a self-confessed foodaholic, you’ll find lots of fab foodie pieces from me.

New year diet plan

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