Ideas for a More Positive Spin on Your New Year’s Goals
By: Marley Carviou, Rierson Fitness Personal Trainer
It’s that time of year when everyone you know is sitting down to write and plan their resolutions and goals for 2024! There are so many options for what to put down on your list of what you’d like to improve. One of the most common resolutions we see in the fitness industry is the want to cut out carbs or sugar in order to lose weight. Weight loss goals are fantastic to start in the New Year with many sales on gym memberships and the fresh start that January brings, however cutting carbs is one of the last things that should be on your list. And here’s why!
Why you actually NEED carbs
To dive right in, carbs are an essential nutrient that our bodies need to function on a daily basis. Our foods are made up of three macronutrients: carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat. Every thing you put into your body has a different ratio of those three macronutrients and we need a balance of all three in order for our body to function optimally. The term ‘carbohydrate’ is actually an umbrella term that includes sugars, starchy foods, fruits and vegetables. Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, and they also control blood glucose and insulin metabolism. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459280/#article-18843.s2 ) If you decide to cut out carbs, you are cutting out your body’s main source of energy and you will be missing out on delicious nutritious foods like grapes, sweet potatoes, corn and brown rice! Your body’s lack of energy can lead to a multitude of issues like muscle cramps, constipation, headaches, and reduced athletic performance.
Add vs. Subtract
So we need carbs, but what can we do instead for our resolution and goals? If you want to set healthy new year’s resolutions, a different method is to add instead of subtract. Many diets, whether they mean to or not, include negative language that instructs people to cut out everything that is supposedly bad. Habits take time to develop, and by cutting out a thousand things and setting strict dieting rules you are making it much more difficult for yourself! Instead, reframe your mindset to focus on what you can add to your life. Instead of cutting out carbs, how great would it feel to add in one leafy green vegetable a day? Or if you want to focus on exercise instead of nutrition, try adding in one ten minute walk a day. Other examples include drinking more water, adding in a nutritious snack during your work day so you don’t come home ravenous, or adding in another workout during your week. Adding usually takes less willpower than subtracting things does, and as you master one habit or goal that you set, you can add more as you go!
Examples of Positive and Purposeful Resolutions
Resolutions can look different for everyone, but now that we know we want to add positives to our routines, that helps narrow down how we can phrase resolutions that fit our individual lives. When choosing a positive resolution, think about how you need to phrase your goal in a way that meets you where you are currently at in life. For example, if your resolution is to workout four times each week but you currently only workout once a week, that might be a tough place for you to start. Instead, hold yourself to two workouts a week for four weeks, and then increase to three workouts a week for the next four weeks. Set your resolution to progress as you do so you know you aren’t being too ambitious and are still able to push yourself!
If you really need some inspiration for your resolutions, here are some examples from the Rierson Fitness team.
- Drink at least 75oz of water per day
- Add one vegetable to every meal, even breakfast!
- Do 50 minutes of cardio each week for 6 weeks. Then increase to 75 minutes of cardio after the first 6 weeks
- Do one upper body and one lower body stretch each morning
- Put phone away during meals
New Year’s resolutions can be beneficial for those who want to kickstart their health and fitness goals. However it is easy to let the pressure of fitness challenges and fad diets overwhelm you into making no progress at all. Think about things that you can add to your routine to help avoid the restriction and all-or-nothing mentality that usually comes with January 1st. If you have more questions or concerns regarding goal setting, nutrition, or you want to find the person that can guide you and hold you accountable, you can send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call at 319-290-6319. At Rierson Fitness, we have trainers who will help you set goals that are attainable, and give you a clear plan to reach them. The Rierson Fitness Team wishes you a great start to 2024!
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