Monday, 19 January 2015

How to get results from your new year’s resolutions

By Laura Day

Six years ago, Australian Joe Cross made a radical change to his diet by giving his system a reboot. He started drinking green juice and eating a mostly plant-based diet. He not only lost weight but reversed a rare autoimmune disease, chronic uticaria. Joe documented the changes in the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. In his new film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2, he explores how to maintain a healthy lifestyle – and how much of his sensible approach can work for us.

Step 1: Commit to now
Many of set new year’s resolutions – either to stop doing something ‘bad’ or to start doing something ‘good’. These often relate to health. We resolve to lose weight and get fit, or simply to eat healthier, drink less alcohol or to quit smoking for ever. All too often, though, we find ourselves making the same resolutions year after year, because we don’t keep our promises.

Step 2: Get a plan
If your goals are diet-based, not only will you need a meal plan, you’ll also need to create a schedule. Check your calendar; look for a time when you have a relatively quiet period with no major social events. Decide when you’ll start, then get a meal plan. Schedule when to do your grocery shopping, when to make your juices, when to do your daily exercise. Planning ahead means you’re more likely to do it, rather than finding yourself at the end of the day with that 20-minute walk or trip to the grocery store still awaiting you.

Step 3: Join a community
Understand that it won’t be smooth sailing. Lifestyle change like this isn’t easy. Having a supportive community to share progress with will help achieve your health goals. Recruit someone to follow your journey; share your aims and update them on your progress. They may be friends and family – or join the online community at Reboot with Joe.

Step 4: Track your progress
A daily diary is one of the best tools for helping you stay focused and recover from slip-ups. Record which foods you consumed, how much you ate, how you felt, and the amount of progress. Studies show that people who regularly monitor their progress while losing weight actually lose more, and those who continue to measure are more likely to keep that weight off. Progress doesn’t need to be measured by a number on the scale. Fitting into a smaller size of jeans, reducing your medication, or feeling more energetic are a few of the other ways to measure it. Set small milestones along the way that show your success, and reward yourself as you hit them.

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