Every year, many of you might make resolutions that you hope to fulfil in the new year. Chances are that improving your fitness or losing weight might be on that list. Here are some practical steps you can embark on to make 2019 your fittest year yet!
Invest In A Fitness Tracker
Awareness and accountability are vital in your health and fitness journey. The more you know about your body and the impact of your actions, the better you will be at achieving your goals. You may be hitting the gym regularly but if you remain seated for most of the day, you are not burning as many calories as you might think. With a fitness tracker, you will be able to track the number of steps you take (the daily recommended count is 10,000) and the approximate amount of calories you burn. This will motivate you to move more to hit all your numbers and milestones!
As the standard advice goes, aim to drink around eight glasses of water per day, especially if you are more physically active. Apart from preventing dehydration (which messes up your bodily functions), drinking some water before and after every meal can help you to feel full quicker and potentially prevent you from consuming more food. Research also suggests that drinking more water may increase your metabolism by as much as 30 per cent.
Master Bodyweight Exercises
Want to get super fit? Make sure you can carry your own weight.
While it is impressive to carry heavy loads in the gym, bodyweight exercises are also a good indicator of your overall strength, balance, and control. Push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups, and tricep dips are some bodyweight exercises you can strive to be proficient at. You can even build a five-round circuit consisting of these exercises. And don’t be disheartened if you are unable to complete a full push-up or pull-up. You can always start out with simplified forms, such as supported pull-ups or push-ups on your knees, before progressing to the advanced versions.
Time Your Carb And Sugar Intake
Want a trimmer waistline? Consume fast-acting carbs earlier in the day so that you have more time to burn them off. Fast-acting carbs, like fruits, white bread, and rice cakes, can cause rapid spikes in your blood sugar levels, which may lead you to eat more. Complex carbs, such as quinoa, non-starchy vegetables, and beans are typically packed with fibre and can keep your insulin levels low while ensuring you feel more satiated.
Up Your Protein
Besides aiding in muscle repair and building, protein also demands more energy be burnt off than other macronutrients. Consuming more protein can stimulate your body to burn more calories by the end of the day. Moreover, protein takes longer to digest, and this can help to stabilise your appetite. And you do not have to restrict yourself to meat to get your protein. You can add mini varieties to your everyday diet, such as pairing nut butter with apple or celery and adding almonds to your bowl of oatmeal.
Do HIIT Training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, will enable you to burn significant calories in less time. The Tabata style workout, which entails eight rounds of high-intensity exercises following a 20-second active, 10-second rest interval, is a great example of HIIT training. Some high-intensity exercises you may want to include are jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, and squat jumps.
Instead of relying on a stopwatch, you can also download a Tabata timer app or simply work out to an upbeat Tabata-timed playlist. For maximum fat-burning capabilities throughout the day, do your HIIT sessions in the morning.
Expand Your Fitness Circle
It can be easy to lose motivation during your fitness journey, so why not find expand your #FitFam? Several studies have shown that individuals tend to stick to their fitness goals better when they interact with fellow fitness enthusiasts. To get that extra boost in momentum, find a friend or two and slay your workouts together!
Reduce Your Portions
Believe it or not, most restaurants are giving you a much bigger portion than what your body needs. If you are planning to lose weight, reducing your portion size for meals can be a start. Don’t be afraid to request for less rice, salt and sugar, and more vegetables. You can consider keeping a food journal to track your food intake throughout the day. Moreover, learning to eye your portion sizes will help you greatly. One cup of cooked pasta, which is equivalent to one handful, is roughly 180 to 220 calories.
Stick To A Bedtime
Lack of quality sleep can increase your cortisol levels, which can adversely affect your weight loss potential. Higher cortisol levels have also been linked to increased appetite and cravings, so make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. As much as possible, aim to stick to the same bedtime and rising hours almost every day so that your body will not have difficulty adjusting to jarring changes in your sleeping habits.