WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — If there’s one thing you’ll see trending all over social media, it’s ‘New Year, New Me’ posts. Becoming a healthier person always tops the list for New Year’s resolutions. Yet some people can pick up some new, unhealthy habits on the road to better living.
United Regional’s wellness coordinator, Aketa Thomas sees people taking on new diet trends all the time, including today’s most popular one: intermittent fasting. This diet typically consists of avoiding food for 16 to 18 hours a day and only eating during a 6-8 hour window. While this has been proven to reduce levels of high blood pressure and cholesterol, fasting is not something to get used to.
“Crash dieting or doing fad or trend diets don’t really speak to long term adherence, “ says Thomas. “It’s not healthy to lose large amounts of weight in a short period of time because it can set a person up for a relapse.”
In other words, you can accidentally leave out vital nutrients by fasting improperly and essentially starve yourself. Instead, Thomas says a successful diet is all about balance.
“If you’re fine with having, let’s say salads at lunch or like a lean protein and vegetable at lunch to where you can have a little bit more calories in the evening or in the morning, that’s fine but figure out something that works for you.”
In order to grab that captivating workout selfie, more people are hitting the gym, perhaps a little harder than they’re used to. According to the Fitness Industry Association, 12% of gym members sign up in january, and most people quit or stop going after 24 weeks. Meaning chances are when you overdo it during your workout, you’re more likely to injure yourself or burn out too quickly.
“Start off with small and work your way up over time, you never want to do what you remembered doing in high school, because that usually never ends up working out real well,” laughed Thomas. “I would start off small like walking 10 to 15 minutes a day and then build up like every two weeks, maybe add 5 to 10 minutes until you get to about 45 minutes to an hour, but really the most important thing is do the activity that you really like to do.”
Kids also need a lot of activity to burn off that incredible amount of energy they have! Therefore it’s important to limit screen time and encourage play time. Thomas also says the earlier they learn about proper nutrition from their parents, the better off they’ll be in their future choices.
“Modeling is huge for kids, if they see you eating it, then they want what you have. If that carrot tastes mmm mmm so good, they’re going to want the carrots too!”
Here are some healthy habits to keep in mind:
- Fad diets are temporary: Go with a well-balanced diet for the long haul and make room your for indulgences.
- Keep up your physical activity by starting slow and with the activities you enjoy
- Create a routine to track your calories, carbs, fat, etc.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Find ways to reduce stress
- Don’t get discouraged when the results aren’t apparent right away