Creating a New You Before 2022
Throw New Year’s Resolutions out the window and choose to start being your healthiest self right now! See yourself showing up on January 1st, 2022 and showing the world, and more importantly yourself, that you’re starting the year fully embracing who you are and who you want to be. Do you want to create a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle? Do you want to eat more high protein snacks? Do you want to be more flexible, have greater endurance, build more strength? Do you want to lose the extra 5, 15, or 50 pounds? Do you want better habits around what you eat in general? Then you are not alone. These are things that millions of people want, but it’s only the ones that choose to do something different now that are going to get it!
So how can you have the body you want? The diet you want? The exercise routine you want?
Let’s look at a few things that can majorly simplify this process and get you started right now in revealing the real you in 2022!
Basic Health 101
Just forget about every diet, program, powder, and fad you’ve ever heard for one moment. Your body needs four major things to survive: fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and water. What makes this seem so complicated is that each of our bodies needs a varied amount of each of these things to function at peak performance, and no book, monthly subscription, or extreme diet plan is going to be right for all people. Your best option is trial and error. To set yourself up for success, start with 30-40% proteins, 30-40% carbohydrates, and 20-30% fats. Some people’s bodies react better to lower carb, higher protein and some the other way around. Regardless you need both, and they should be your primary intake over fats.
Do you need to count your macros and weigh your food?
Well that depends on your personality. Some people thrive under structure, others crumble. If you’re itching to pull out the kitchen scale and start logging your food, go for it! If the thought is repugnant to you, then use the plate method. Look at your dinner plate, about 8” in circumference, and build out the percentages of your food like an elementary school pie chart.
What about those pesky calories?
Even though it may be frustrating to hear, the body is a machine, and it runs on fuel, so calories in, calories out. If you put more calories in than you use, your body will store the extra. If you put too little in, your body will run on fumes and be prone to disease. So figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and go from there.
The most common way to estimate your daily caloric needs is by using the Harris-Benedict Equation.
BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) - (5.677 x age in years)
BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) - (4.330 x age in years)
Your answer will be the amount of calories your body uses to stay alive and maintain basic functions. Add exercise to your day and your body is using more calories and therefore will burn fat. Eat less calories and your body is still using more calories and therefore burning fat. Eat less calories and exercise, and you’re setting up your body to be a fat burning machine!
Note for health and strength, do not cut your BMR by more than 500 calories a day or eat less than 1200 calories in total. To make up the difference, add in more exercise.
Since you’re already taking strides for a healthier body, don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You want 3-4 liters of water daily! For some smaller people, 2 liters may be enough. When you feel hungry, check in with your thirst before eating. This can start helping you become aware of your water intake.
Does this all feel overwhelming? Don’t worry, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you. Take some baby steps.
- Eat smaller portions and eat more regularly.
- Focus on plant-based, all natural foods.
- Cut out as much sugar and highly processed foods as you can.
- Set yourself up for success by having healthy high protein snacks available.
- Start walking around your block in the mornings and evenings.
- Focus on fiber to feel fuller and more satisfied.
If we let ourselves get rundown or to the point of starving, it becomes very hard to make smart food decisions. Try to keep some protein based snacks, gluten free snacks, and vegetarian snacks around to help ward off impulsive eating. This can be carrot sticks and rice cakes if you want…. but we have much more tempting options like Spicy Sweet Pepper Stix and Vanilla Blueberry Protein Granola Clusters. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland or boring!
Now what about exercise?
There are simply no excuses to not find some way to move your body more than you are now. That’s just tough love.
Don’t have enough money for the gym? YouTube is FULL of free and incredible workouts.
Don’t have the time? We make time for what is important to us, so get up earlier, go to bed later, skip that hour of TV, or cut your lunch break in half. There is time. Exercise just needs to be a priority.
Don’t have the energy? Do it first thing in your day before you’re depleted. The biggest hurdles around actually doing exercise are in the mind, so choose now to make movement a necessity. Tell yourself it is a part of your daily life whether your mind likes it or not. The more you do it, the more energy you will have for it.
Feel like you’re too heavy to begin? That’s okay. It’s a small lie that your mind is telling your body. You are strong enough; just start slow. Take a small walk around your neighborhood. Do this each day until you can go a little further. Buy a stationary bike and give it five minutes, then ten, then fifteen. It’s a slow build.
The biggest secret to exercise is finding something you can stick with and preferably something you enjoy. However, you may not find anything you enjoy right away as your body fights to build strength, endurance, flexibility, and tolerance. You may need to force your mind to be stronger, but don’t give up. The body is a spectacular creation, and it will start following your mind. So keep doing it, through the pain, through the exhaustion, past the soreness, and one day you will realize you crave the movement, you want to push harder, go further, move faster. Your body will take on a force all of its own and then your mind won’t have to push as hard anymore.
Health is like all things in life, it is learned.
So put in the mental work now, telling your body what to eat, when to eat, how to move, and as you learn, it will all become second nature, like riding a bike or driving a car.
You’ve got this, and we’ve got you.
Load up on your favorite plant-based, high protein cereals, granola, puffs, and stix. Keep reading for articles based on your health and success with your body. Whatever you do, don’t give up!