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Five Non-Fitness Related Resolutions That Can Help You Lose Weight

Melanie Ash Melanie Ash Five Non-Fitness Related Resolutions That Can Help You Lose WeightPhoto via Melanie Ash Fitness.
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How many people do you know who joined a gym or started a new diet or exercise program this week?

A lot, probably.

And how many of those people will be in the best shape of their lives come March?

Not many.

Weight loss resolutions are understandably common given the obesity rate and the fact most of us could stand to lose a few pounds. However very few of the people who set out to do that every January actually succeed.

Many will find it too time consuming, too difficult or too unpleasant. Most have set themselves up to fail by expecting to instantly see results. When they don’t see a dramatic drop on the scale after a few days or weeks, they get frustrated and give up.

This year I invite you to buck the trend, and skip setting a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. That might sound like strange advice coming from a Personal Trainer and fitness fanatic, but hear me out.

If your goal is to lose more than ten pounds, that can be a long and difficult task. The mere thought of all the changes you have to make to get from Point A to Point B becomes so overwhelming you’re likely to throw in the towel before you even start. (The idea that you are going to go from a couch potato to a gym rat overnight is preposterous anyway.)

Choosing an unrealistic resolution that cannot be achieved in a short amount of time is setting yourself up to fail.

What I suggest, instead, is resolving to make one positive change that not only enriches your life but also seems small enough to be manageable.

Each of the five resolutions below are not only achievable, they can also help you lose weight without even picking up a dumbbell or setting foot in a gym!

1. Take up a new hobby

We could all use more recreation in our busy lives. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try, or maybe an activity you used to enjoy that you had to give up at some point? Hobbies are a great way to occupy idle time that is often spent in front of the TV with a bag of snacks. If you’re busy doing something else, you won’t be mindlessly eating and even if your hobby isn’t physical you’ll still be getting more activity than you would staring at the computer or TV!

2. Drink more water

Start by setting a goal of drinking at least one full glass of water each morning. Water is vital to our health and well-being, and most Americans don’t drink enough. Being well-hydrated gives you more energy, improves digestion and keeps you feeling fuller so you eat less. When you have more energy, you will be motivated to move more. When you put all those things together, drinking more water can help you lose weight!

3. Sleep more

If you’re thinking of setting the alarm earlier so you can get up and exercise each morning, let me be the first to say, forget it! I always tell clients, unless you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, trading rest for exercise isn’t a good idea. Lack of sleep increases the stress hormone cortisol, which makes us tired, hungry and lazy. It can also increase the body’s ability to store fat. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is key to looking and feeling your best, and no weight loss program will be successful long-term without it.

4. Spend more time in the kitchen

You’ve heard the saying weight loss is 70% diet, haven’t you? Well, that’s the truth and it starts with eating healthy, fresh, whole foods prepared at home. Why not resolve to cook more in 2015? Find new recipes with ingredients you’ve never tried and cook at least one meal each day at home. You’ll likely find yourself eating better and looking forward to new and fun recipes to try. The more meals you can prepare at home, the more likely you will be to lose weight in the process.

5. Love your body

All too often weight loss goals begin with wanting to change something we don’t like about ourselves. Many New Year’s Resolutions are driven by a desire to change because we’re unhappy. Unfortunately, self-loathing and self-punishment are generally terrible motivators. I encourage you instead to try loving your body. Celebrate it for all it is capable of, and challenge it to do more. Appreciate the way what you put into your body affects it, and aim to give your body the important vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to function at its best. Take care of your body because it is the only thing you have that is truly yours. Nourish it, move it, and reward it with rest. When you come from a place of love and not loathing, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to change.

Whatever resolution you choose, make it specific, make it manageable and don’t try to rebuild Rome in a day. Focus on doing what’s best for you, not what everyone else is doing. You may be surprised to find you can shed more pounds when you stop trying so hard to lose weight!

For more information, visit www.melanieashfitness.com.

From January 5 – 11, Columbus Underground is featuring our Health & Wellness Week series, brought to you by the The Fitness Loft. The Fitness Loft is more than just a gym – it’s a visionary approach to developing a sustainable community and creating an atmosphere that encourages people to lead a healthier life. Our holistic concept includes biometric wellness screening, Technogym exercise equipment that records progress, free group fitness and nutrition classes, an on-site Registered Dietitian, and much more to give you a truly unique wellness experience. Located at 625 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH 43206.

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