Did your 2020 New Year's resolutions involve getting fit or losing weight? With a couple of weeks of this year already under our belt; how well have you stuck to your goals?
To give you that extra boost you need, we’ve been checking out some health and fitness tips from experts around Australia, designed to have you feeling better and getting more active! Are you ready to make 2020 your year?
Increase your plant intake
Whether or not you’re taking part in Veganuary, Melbourne dietician Melanie McGrice believes that reducing your meat intake and increasing your plant intake could be an effective weight loss strategy.
Don’t worry if you’re a meat-lover; this doesn’t have to be too drastic. Just replace a couple of meals per week with vegetables and plant-based protein such as legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.). Numerous studies have found that people that have a diet low in animal-based foods tend to have a lower BMI, and lowering your meat intake is good for the environment, too!
Do regular, medium-intensity body weight workouts
Personal trainer from Sydney, Ricardo Riskalla, is all about mixing workouts with cardio and bodyweight exercises. Forget intense boot camps and instead switch to medium-intensity routines that don’t put as much stress on the body.
His approach looks at longevity. The key to caring for your long-term health and fitness is to find something you’ll stick to and work at regularly. Consider the periodisation idea, which is where some weeks must be harder than others to allow your body to progress but to also allow for recovery.
You can get stuck into medium-intensity exercises at home, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been working out for as long as you can remember. A rowing machine and some fitness weights make for great first additions for your home gym.
Reduce your intake of processed foods
Try to avoid fad diets like the keto (ketogenic) diet, which almost completely eliminates your intake of carbs. However, Kieron Rooney, a metabolic biochemistry researcher from the University of Sydney recommends cutting out ultra-processed sources of carbohydrates.
Basically, this means you don’t need to get rid of things like rice, pasta and bread; that’s all fine in moderation. But avoid grabbing a muffin on your way to work, and turn down any sugary biscuits that get passed around the office.
Loading up on junk carbs makes it harder to burn fat when you exercise, so cut down your junk to see long-term results.
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol is packed with “empty calories” - but the disadvantages don’t stop there. Alcohol consumption also has a negative effect on sleep, making you feel tired the next morning. This, in turn, leads to binges on takeaway food and fizzy drinks, as well as the desire to stay sedentary most of the day.
The fact that more major brands are releasing alcohol-free varieties just shows the shift towards a health-conscious society that wants to wake up feeling a little fresher and more hydrated.