Happy New Year Everyone!
The gyms are packed. Grocery stores have advertising's in the stores about fat-free and low-calorie foods and recipes. Fad diets are popping up in everyone's in-boxes and running throughout the social media news feeds. Vitamin stores and wellness websites are offering discounts and filtering information through websites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
It's January. Millions of people made a New Year's resolution to lose weight, eat better, work out more frequently, or trying some form of cleansing. However, according to a Forbes article, only 8% of Americans successfully achieve their New Year's goals. Should you not make New Year's resolutions? Absolutely you should. When it comes to making New Year's resolutions that require significant changes to your daily life, gradual changes is the key to success.
Far too often, people set unrealistic goals. If you have made a habit of eating out 4 to 5 days a week, stepping into the gym MAYBE once a month, and never done a cleanse or fast, it's unrealistic to think just because the calendar offered a new year that you are going to suddenly cook nothing but vegetables, go to the gym every day, and take on a month cleanse. Not only is this unrealistic, but it can actually be harmful to your body.
If you want to stop eating fast food, just stop. If you want to start working out more, increase your visits by one or two visits a week. If you want to try a cleanse, start with a two or three day cleanse. Cleansing is good for the body, but sudden changes to your eating habits can be shocking and cause your body to shut down or eat away at muscle or friendly bacterias that our bodies need. One of the most popular fad diets/cleanses around is the Master Cleanse. All it took was Beyonce to mention she was doing the Master Cleanse, and black women all over the world started mixing cayenne and syrup concoctions. It's called the MASTER cleanse for a reason. If you have never cleansed or fasted for more than a week, this is absolutely not the cleanse for you. The Master Cleanse can be difficult even for individuals who cleanse every year. And let's all be honest with ourselves, Beyonce has a TEAM!
"One of the most important things people need to do consider before diving into a Master Cleanse is their bowel movements," says Lareece Long, President of LifeWithin. "If a person is not having regular bowel movements, the toxins and waste are not being properly eliminated. This ultimately creates a backup in the system."
"The Master Cleanse may only be three days, but some people can not go one day without food," says Long. "The Master Cleanse can be challenging for some and it definitely is not the type of cleanse that anyone should be doing for more than a week."
There are hundreds of cleanses people can try. Even if you say you're not going to eat meat for a week, that's a cleanse. Drinking nothing but water, that's a cleanse. Try a vegan diet for a few days, that's a cleanse. It's all about baby steps and paying attention to your body, do what works for you, in moderation.
This year, don't beat yourself up about a diet. It's a lifestyle change, it takes time. Do some research, keep a food journal, but most importantly stay encouraged and take small steps towards a better you!
We're all in this together!
What fad diets or cleanses have you tried?
What New Year's resolutions have you made?