7 Reasons You Should Start Living Healthy BEFORE the New YearArticle posted in: Lifestyle Nutrition
As the holiday season settles in with massive feasts and large quantities of comfort foods, there should be no time like the present to get a jumpstart on living healthier before the new year. Sure, you could join the millions of other Americans who will indulge themselves in December only to reconcile with a healthy resolution on January 1st—but according to one study, then you’d also most likely be among the 80% of people whose resolutions fail by the second week of February.
Don’t let your healthy lifestyle or weight loss goals hinge on the high hopes of choosing a healthy lifestyle before the new year, and instead, start working towards healthier habits now. Learn why it’s beneficial to start practicing the principles of a healthy lifestyle now, so you can enjoy stress-free holidays and a successful new year!
Find out seven reasons why you should start living healthy before the new year:
1. You’ll avoid weight gain during the holidays.
The holiday season may be a tough time of year to start diet restrictions, but once you make it through, you’ll be happier and before the new year. Of course, you’re going to indulge in holiday treats and family-style dishes once in a while, but you can learn to maintain smart eating habits throughout every festive gathering to offset the high-calorie intake. Start a routine that involves eating breakfast along with four or five small meals a day, so you will be less likely (or able) to overindulge or go for seconds. Utilize healthy eating and fitness habits throughout the holidays to ensure you can compensate for any damage done to your waistline from home-cooked feasts or sugary treats.
2. You’ll solidify healthy eating habits.
The toughest part of living a healthier lifestyle is making it stick. Many people try and start the New Year with huge hopes for fast and easy weight loss but little basis for making it a reality. In truth, it takes time and dedication to develop a sustainable healthy routine—which is why you might as well give yourself a jumpstart now. A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it took participants anywhere between 18 and 254 days to develop a new habit. This huge variation and the average 66 days it most likely takes to make a concrete change mean you should start practicing healthier living habits ASAP. If you start now, you’ll have a solid, healthy routine that’s second nature by early next year.
3. You’ll avoid the mid-winter slump.
If you’ve ever experienced seasonal effective disorder or the mid-winter blues, you know it can be difficult to feel motivated in January and February. These long, cold months following the festive holiday season can seem dreary in comparison and cause symptoms of sluggishness, fatigue and disinterest. Do yourself a favor and find a fitness routine that works for you now, so it’ll be easier to overcome that winter slump and continue staying active throughout the new year. Regular exercise will release endorphins in your brain to promote warm, fuzzy feelings, which will help you cope with any winter madness.
4. You’ll feel less stressed in the new year.
Self-care is an important part of living healthfully and can encompass eating right, staying active and making time to cater to your personal, emotional and mental needs. The holidays and the New Year can be chaotic, so you need to take time out of each day to do something that will bring you peace and allow you to decompress—such as meditation, yoga etc. Dedicating time to your mental health will ensure you make it through the holidays without any emotional binge eating or snacking due to stress. You’ll be able to start fresh in January with a healthy grip on your mental well-being.
5. You’ll learn self-control.
There’s no reason to wait for the New Year to make a healthy-living resolution when you have heaps of holiday leftovers looming in the near future. It takes time to learn self-control, and while we don’t expect you to skip all your seasonal favorites, you should maintain smart-eating habits so as not to concede to every holiday temptation. Make sure to avoid going for seconds and stick to healthy meals with a routine and a context for each meal. Don’t go around picking at leftovers or peeking in cookie tins. Instead, try to focus on maintaining an eating schedule that involves a dedicated time and place for each meal so that you can make it into a solid routine by the time January arrives.
6. You’ll set yourself up for a successful year.
Whether you plan on making a resolution or not, many people view the new year as a clean slate that allows us to refashion our lives and renew ourselves. No matter who you want to be or what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year, a healthy lifestyle is a solid foundation for any success. Living healthier means better focus, better sleep and better moods, all of which contribute to day-to-day success. So don’t wait and set yourself up for your success before the new year with a foundation for healthy living to help you reach all your goals.
7. You’ll be able to focus on one specific New Year’s Resolution.
One of the main reasons New Year’s resolutions fail is because we often try to bite off more than we can chew when it comes to choosing just one. In the new year, many people want to lose weight, work out, quit something, start something, get a new job and the list goes on. A true resolution that will see success in the new year should be one specific goal that is reasonably attainable. You can take some of your goals off the table by working towards an all-around healthier lifestyle now before the year turns. This way, you can set your sights on a more unique and specific goal for your resolution.