By KRISTINA GRAHAM
The top New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, and that means resolutions to get fit and eat healthy follow.
While about 75 percent of people stick to their goals for at least a week, more than half give up within six months.
It’s not impossible to keep the motivation and perseverance. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, there is nothing wrong with starting over again.
Two main components of being healthy are diet and exercise, but you don’t have to be a dietitian or body builder to live a healthy lifestyle. The key is balance.
If you’ve ever tried “miracle diets,” chances are it didn’t last long. There is no such thing as a “superfood” or “juicing cleanses,” or even being able to fully function by completely eliminating carbohydrates. These diets don’t work because they are not realistic and only show short-term results.
By eliminating carbohydrates, you are getting rid of your body’s main source of energy. By only consuming fat and protein for energy, you can destroy your kidneys, pancreas, liver, virtually your entire body.
Choosing a healthy diet starts with a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates in each meal. It gets enough energy and nutrition in your body.
It is important to choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains; healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocados; and lean protein, like low-fat cheese and lean meat.
The part that remains is exercise.
Start small. If you normally sit in a chair or live a sedentary lifestyle, a good start would be to take a daily walk. If your job is more physically demanding, putting an extra pep in your step with a walk or jog.
Whether you exercise three times a week or twice a day every day, diet and exercise go hand in hand.
Being properly hydrated around and during exercise is extremely important. Always keep water on hand and try to drink about a cup for every 20 minutes of exercise. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after exercise as well.
It is also important to fuel yourself before and after exercise.
If you are eating before you exercise, be sure to follow these guidelines. For large meals, eat three to four hours before exercising; for small meals, eat two to three hours before exercising; and, for small snacks, eat an hour before exercising.
After you exercise, you need to help your muscles restore and recover. For maximum benefits, always eat carbohydrates and protein together. The carbohydrates will help restore muscle, while the protein helps build more muscle.
Graham, a Bluffton University student, is an intern at OSU Extension, Findlay.
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