The Resolutionists have invaded the YMCA once again! Its interesting to observe Y members fighting for the parking spot closest to the entrance to then go work out. History demonstrates that ease in finding a spot will occur within 30 days. According to statistics, fewer than half of all Americans (45%) make resolutions. Unfortunately, most resolutions are too drastic. I'm going to become a whole new person in 2014. I'm going to lose 35 pounds, stop smoking, work out every day, stop the sodas, etc.
Unfortunately, fewer than 8% succeed. Why? Because lifelong habits cannot be broken cold turkey or with sudden changes.
Whats the solution? In the '80s I was the king of carbohydrates because I unwittingly thought the authorities at the USDA offered sound advice. Consume more than 60% of your calories from high-density grains, cereals, pasta, and rice, avoid fats, etc. Even though I worked out 1-2 hours daily, I gained a few pounds, had to take daily naps, was bloated and had frequent headaches. But I was following scientifically proven recommendations. WRONG! They were never tested!
It wasn't until I read Dr. Sears book The Zone that I realized I needed to make some big changes. Perhaps you're like me and don't like any, especially to your diet. It would probably have been easier to change my religion. Did I dive into the Zone 100%? No, my dietary solution evolved, slowly and sustainability.
Here are a few suggestions to help you with your Zone evolution:
- Once or twice a week have a breakfast of lean protein and a few carbs, not pancakes or French toast and pay attention to how you feel. Simple, fast and easy recipes are found at zonediet.com/Recipes/Breakfast.
- Consume smaller, more frequent meals. Have a balanced mid-morning and afternoon snack but not a doughnut or candy bar. Try one of Dr. Sears food products, or heres a list of snack ideas - zonediet.com/Recipes/Snacks.
- Order a chicken Ca-esar salad with your next thin-crust pizza. You're supposed to take one-half of the pizza home or share with others.
- Be sure to have a protein chaser with your next cocktail. Low-fat cheese, chicken wings, turkey jerky, smoked salmon, or deli roll-ups are examples.
- Consume a few more vegetables and one less processed food item daily. Frozen vegetables are fine. Try the Green Giant Steamers.
- Drink one can of naturally flavored sparking water daily in place of your soft drink.
- Did you know there's a correlation between prolonged sitting and reduced life expectancy? Stand up, stretch, and move around every 30 minutes. Im not suggesting a 45-minute session of office yoga. Also, while you're up, focus your eyesight on an object in the distance. This helps relieve computer eyestrain.
- Supplement with a high-quality omega 3s and polyphenols. There are too many benefits to list here on the importance of both. Go to zonediet.com/omega-3-fish-oils.
- Relax and let go for just 3-5 minutes daily. How? Focus on your breathing. Just notice the rhythmic inhalation and exhalation. Gently close your eyes, be still, be aware and continue to follow your breath for a moment.
Theres no need to break another resolution. Instead, commit yourself to evolving. Small, simple and easy adjustments over time create a lifestyle that will reward you with a longer, healthier life.