5 Tips to Help You Get Back into Shape in the New Year

Healthy Woman

After the excesses of the holiday season, some of us may feel the need to get back on track with our health and fitness goals. Here are a few key tips to help you do just that.

1. Drink Water

A lack of water will significantly lower the metabolism. Drinking sufficient water can significantly increase metabolism and assist with losing weight. This should be plain, fresh water, not soft drink, juice, tea or coffee. You should drink 8 glasses a day, on average, but more in hotter weather, when drinking alcohol or exercising.

2. Cut Out Excessive Refined Carbohydrates & Sugars

This includes cakes, biscuits, bread, rice, chocolate, pasta and soft drinks. You can have natural carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables or complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal or grain pasta or brown rice.

3. Eat Plenty of Salad & Vegetables Every Day

These contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals as well as fibre and good carbs, which the body does need for energy. The fibre will fill you up and help remove toxins from the body, which is vital to losing weight. Keep to 2-3 fruits a day but avoid mangoes, bananas and raisins which are higher in sugar. Instead go for strawberries, blueberries, apples or pears.

4. Go for a Brisk 30 Minute Walk Every Day

Stress makes us gain weight. Stress produces an excess of glucose in the blood through the action of cortisol and this excess of glucose ends up being converted to fat. So moderate exercise, like swimming or walking, eliminates huge amounts of cortisol through the liver and therefore helps with weight loss.

5. Never Skip Breakfast & Don't Eat Big before Bedtime

Skipping breakfast will slow your metabolism right down. The metabolism will remain sluggish until you do one of two things, eat food or exercise. Proteins and fats increase the metabolism more noticeably than carbohydrates. There is a saying - "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper".

Having a large meal just before going to bed forces "storage mode" - that equals fat.