For the health of it

Each January, millions of people resolve to better themselves in one way or another, but a very small percentage actually follow through with these resolutions. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, but by the end of the first week many people have given up or forgotten about their goals. Yes, it’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm after you’ve swept up the confetti but it’s not impossible. Follow these five tips to help you stick with your weight loss resolution.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.RUNWILDRETREATS.COM1. Only eat out once a month.

By cooking your own meals instead of eating at a restaurant, you will be able to control the quality and quantity of your ingredients. The majority of restaurant food is laden with sodium and oil, and it is difficult know how much of each ingredient you are consuming. It is also hard to know how fresh restaurant food is. It may difficult for busy college students to prepare their own meals, but it is important. Knowing exactly what ingredients you are putting in your body will improve health and aid in weight loss.

2. Get more sleep.

Sleep is such an important part of life, and similar to preparing your own meals, it is difficult for busy college students to get the hours of sleep their bodies need. Not only does sleep rejuvenate our cells and provide them with the energy needed to fight off illness, but it can also assist in weight loss. The amount of sleep we get affects our hormones and our appetite. Days following a sleepless night are often spent feeling unsatisfied regardless of what or how much you eat. On the other hand, our appetites and cravings are content following nights of full rest.

3. Eat breakfast.

We’ve all heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, it is still the most common meal skipped. A common excuse is, there is not enough time before school or work to grab something to eat. Well, it’s time to wake up a few minutes earlier people! Because it has been many hours since your last meal or snack, your body is in serious need of fuel when you wake up in the morning. Failing to feed your body at this crucial time causes your metabolism to slow down. Even if you only have time to grab an apple or a piece of toast on the way out the door, it’s better than not eating at all.

4. Exercise at least 20 minutes every day.

Adding cardiovascular and resistance training to your daily routine will burn calories and transform fat into muscle. Working out for an hour can be intimidating for beginners, which makes this resolution the most difficult to maintain – so start small and work your way up. Go for a bike ride with friends, take a walk or jog around the neighborhood, do a short workout video or jump rope in your garage. Once you start filling 20 minutes of your day with physical activity, you might find that you really enjoy it, and before you know it 20 minutes will turn into 60.

5. Cut out soda.

Soda is a bittersweet beverage. It’s pleasing to the taste buds, but because of its high sugar content and lack of nutritional value, it causes obesity and diabetes. Soda leaves our hunger levels unsatisfied so these sugary calories are often consumed alongside food, which only adds unnecessary calories to our daily count. A healthy alternative to soda is water. It might not taste as good, but your waist line will thank you.

Melissa Lindsey is a senior at Utah Valley University studying communication with an emphasis in journalism. Contact her at lindsey.mml@gmail.com

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