Congratulations! You are now entering your 2nd week of ‘A New You in the New Year.’ Last week, we focused on laying a foundation for a healthier diet and increasing basic activity into your life. Hopefully, your ‘to-dos’ were easy to get into and not too overwhelming. If so, take an extra week and stick with the First Week plan to get adjusted.
For those of you ready to jump into your 2nd week, your roadmap is outlined below!
Nutrition – It’s Detox Time! When our diet includes unhealthy foods, ingredients and chemicals, our digestive system functions less efficiently and has to work overtime to eliminate toxins and waste. Further, the more of these you eat, the more you crave them. In week two, we are going to retrain your brain and your stomach by eliminating these from your diet, which will hopefully reduce your cravings and dependency on them.
- Cut out sugar. Sugar is one of your biggest enemies. In any form: raw, as part of a food, processed,
- If you put sugar in your coffee or tea, cut back. Instead of 4 heaping teaspoons, make it 3 level teaspoons. Continue to cut back until you need no more than 1 teaspoon at a maximum or optimally, none
- Don’t drink soda, and if you do, start drinking diet until you can stop drinking it all together. Soda has tons of empty calories and artificial ingredients
- Look at your nutrition labels. If the first ingredient listed is sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, corn-syrup, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, it is bad news
- Cut-out Saturated Fats. Saturated fatis ‘bad fat’. You want to have as little of these in your diet as possible. Cut these bad boys out for good and think about healthier alternatives:
- Butter, margarine and full-fat dairy
- Poultry skin and fried foods
- Egg yolks
- Coconut oil, milk, cream and Palm oil
- Limit Alcohol. Although it is a bit difficult during the holiday season to refrain from the bubbly, alcohol, by far, can be a huge saboteur to your diet. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is 3 more calories than both carbohydrates and protein per gram. These calories add up fast. Further, alcohol takes a toll on your skin, causing dryness, dilation of small blood vessels and redness. Try to limit yourself to no more than 1 drink per day, or 7 drinks per week.
- Fried Food. Fried food, no matter what it is fried in, is bad. Whether it is fried a little, fried a lot or deep fried, it is bad. Bad, bad, bad. It causes clogged arteries, bad skin, heart disease, constipation…need we say more? Just stop eating it. Look for other tasty alternatives that are baked, grilled or poached. Pan-seared is ok too.
- Processed Foods. Processed foods are up there with fried food. The more processes a food has to go through, the higher the chance it is loaded with chemicals, preservatives and unhealthy ingredients. All of which you want to avoid. Look for foods that are whole…from the ground or naturally from an animal. This doesn’t mean it can’t be packaged, but if the food takes a form, shape or look of something other than how it would be naturally found, it is processed. Ex: Chicken Nuggets (Highly processed) vs. Chicken Breast (very little if at all processed)
- Limit Caffeine. Caffeine is a chemical that causes your body to have ups and downs in energy, and is a diuretic, causing water-loss. Try to limit yourself to no more than one cup a day, preferably in the morning.
- Clean out Your Closets. Go through your kitchen cabinets and throw away foods that are obviously bad for you. Anything that has a lot of sugar, is processed, has a lot of fat, etc. deep six
Fitness – Ramping it up. Now that you have been a bit more active than normal, it is time to up the ante. You need to move from ‘getting some activity’ into ‘getting some exercise’. Again, you don’t want to overdo it by trying to do too much.
- Raise that Heart Rate! Make sure you are raising your heart rate enough to get the most out of your workout. Each week, you should aim to exercise in a slightly higher Target Heart Rate Zone. Learn how to calculate YOUR target heart rate to ensure you are making progress.
- Increase your Duration and Frequency. Each week, you should aim to exercise for a little longer and a little more often, working up to 4 to 5 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour each day. This week, specifically, aim to move your duration and frequency from 20 – 30 minutes, 3 days a week to 30 – 35 minutes for 4 days.
Good luck this week with your Week 2 To-Dos!
Let us know how Week 1 went. Did you find it helpful? Did you hope to do more? Was it easy or difficult to stick to?