Often our New Year’s resolutions centre around maintaining a healthy lifestyle: eating clean, staying active, and taking care of our bodies. But most of the time, these resolutions can get tired by the time February rolls around. It doesn’t take a new year to make a change. We asked some Hamilton experts how to stay healthy year-round and not lose sight of our goals.
Dr. Justin Gallant ND
Exercise: Make sure it’s something you actually enjoy! If you don’t like the gym atmosphere or don’t feel motivated when you’re at the gym, think about other ways of getting exercise. If you like sports, join a pick-up league, if you like dancing, join Zumba, if you like nature, just go for walks, if you need direction, join a boot camp class. Don’t push yourself to do something you don’t enjoy.
Diets: If you’re going to choose a certain way of eating, it shouldn’t become a stressor for you. It should be something you’ll be able to maintain for the rest of your life, not for 30 days. Be sure to get an expert’s opinion as well since there a lot of fad diets that may do more harm than good, and are not sustainable.
Health: If you feel like you’re dragging your butt no matter what you’re doing, you should get a proper work-up done. Conditions like low iron, vitamin D deficiency or hypothyroidism could be the cause of your lack of motivation or fatigue, and no amount of exercise or effort will get rid of them.
Accountability: Set your goals and find someone to hold you accountable for them. You can pick a friend, a personal trainer, naturopathic doctor, post it to facebook, write it down on a calendar.
Some math: 3500 calories = 1 pound. This means to lose 1lb per week you’d have to be at a deficit of 500 calories per day, meaning you must burn 500 more calories than you consume. To lose 2 lbs/wk you’d have to be at a deficit of 1000 cals/day, and to lose 3 lbs/wk you’d have to be at a deficit of 1500 cals/day. Being at a deficit of 1000-1500 cals/day will lead to weight loss but your body will adapt to the deficit. Once you’re at your goal weight and bring the 1000-1500 calories back in, your body will think it’s getting 1000-1500 extra calories and start packing it on as fat. This is why people who do extreme calorie-restricting diets always end up gaining weight back.
Dr. Justin Gallant ND, is a Naturopathic Doctor in Hamilton, Ontario. He is a health detective with a passion for educating and guiding patients in all aspects of health.
I’ve only got one tip, but I like this one a lot!
This time of year, a lot of us are setting goals to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle. But why do we need to set these goals in the first place? Probably because we’ve slipped into unhealthy patterns over time. Maybe we come home from work and we’re tired, so we get takeout food for dinner. Then we stay up too late watching Netflix and we end up tired and make the same mistake the next day. Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all done this before! Intention or goal setting can be a great time to shake things up.
Personally, I was inspired by a Tedx talk done by food blogger and cookbook author Sarah Britton a few years ago. In it, she talks about setting a personal goal to learn one new thing each day. I love this idea because I love the challenge it offers. Say you are trying to improve your diet, but you don’t know where to start. You could learn one new recipe, or try a new food, or learn a new kitchen tip each day. Imagine how much you can learn in a year! And if you miss a day, no one is counting but you. So you just keep going and try again the next day.
I love Sarah’s simple idea because it makes change feel accessible. If you want to change your diet or lifestyle, you don’t need to do it all at once. I think we all need to remember that we can learn and grow – that we aren’t too old or that change isn’t somehow out of our reach. It’s such a simple message, but I find it empowering!
(If you want to check it out, Sarah Britton’s blog is called My New Roots and it’s full of fantastic recipes!)
Sara Wiseman is the manager of Green Bar. She did her culinary training in British Columbia and has worked as a baker and vegan chef. She is passionate about healthy, whole foods cooking and food issues including sustainability, local food supplies, nutrition and food literacy. Her food philosophy is summed up nicely by Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Many people see January as an opportunity to make a change in their health and fitness. But as February approaches, most of those people have given up on those good intentions. Below are a few strategies to help you stick to your resolutions.
Make exercise a habit. In order to do this, you have to set yourself up for success. Set a fitness goal that is challenging but achievable and set little goals along the way to keep you motivated. Schedule your workouts into your daily routine, have your workout gear accessible at all times and pick an activity that is fun to do and includes a social component.
Be accountable to someone. Meet a friend or a group to exercise. Schedule a personal coaching session or sign-up for classes. Post your exercise intentions on social media or join an online challenge using your fitness tracking device. The point is that you need to put yourself out there so that you feel like someone is keeping track of your efforts.
Make little changes at first and only add more activity once your routine is going smoothly. Many people think that exercise is a big time commitment but that is simply not true. You can gain a lot of fitness by doing 30 minutes of exercise (or less), multiple times a week, as long as you are working at the right intensities. People often start by exercising too much because they are highly motivated. As a result, they lose motivation very quickly or become injured.
In order to keep you motivated, Momentum Fitness offers small group classes, clubs, and personal coaching that make fitness fun and challenging in a welcoming environment. Our experienced, passionate coaches, along with our growing community, strive to make Hamilton a much healthier city in 2017.
Kristina Plachecki / Personal Training Lead / Coach at Momentum Fitness.
My New Years resolution is to get up earlier and be more productive first thing in the morning. I have a horrible habit of sleeping in and being grumpy in the morning. I made myself accountable to this resolution by beginning to teach a 7am class. We have just started this 7am class, but waking up to go move and fire the body up with other early birds has been giving me so much more energy for the entire day. It has made a huge difference with my sleeping pattern as well, along with being happy to get out of bed.
I have a love/ hate relationship with caffeine and coffee. I love the flavour of coffee and cafe drinks, it’s my guilty pleasure. However, when I drink coffee, it for some reason makes me sweat, which is uncomfortable and embarrassing; so I have had to supplement for a herbal coffee alternative. I just bought a brand called Teeccino at Goji Berry in Westdale and I like the flavour. Now that I don’t need caffeine to give me energy in the mornings, I just want the flavour.
I still feel puffy from the Holidays, so I am trying to eat foods that contain lots of water and drinking lots of water to fill the belly. I am pretty sure all of the Christmas binge eating made my stomach expand, because I am always hungry now. Watermelon may not be in season, but it is one of my favourite foods. I have been eating plenty of watermelon to snack on and it has been helping me cleanse the body of Christmas fun eating and drinking.
I just did a fun little #motivationmonday meditation session at McMaster University today for students and staff to get motivated for semester two and to feel relaxed and calm going into it. It only took twenty minutes and together we closed our eyes, got into our own bodies sitting in a room together and we went through the chakra system, from the root chakra all the way to the crown and what each chakra represents. With each chakra we went through a few different affirmations to build ourselves stronger. It was a great turn out! I feel it is very important to stay in touch with who we are and constantly check in with our body, mind and spirituality. It only helps us interact, love, communicate, share and build with others.
Amanda Edridge is an instructor at Soul Sessions. She teaches yoga, POP Pilates and the Ballet Booty classes.
How do you stay motivated to keep up with your resolutions?