Ali Ghani, Edmonton fitness advocate gives tips to achieve healthy New Year goals

February 8, 2021 • By Benjamin Wilson

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After an indulgent holiday and consuming all of those sugary sweets and delicious carbs, it’s natural to feel like a healthy change is in order. Yet, while pledging to eat right and exercise is at the top of many of our New Year’s resolutions, these promises tend to fade away after a few weeks. The reality is, many times, expectations are placed too high, resulting in a lack of motivation and unfulfilled promises.

When it comes to eating leafy greens and increasing your heart rate, it’s not as simple as choosing broccoli over pizza. How do you make sure your resolution to get healthy doesn’t fall by the wayside?

Here are some simple ways to get started.

Set achievable goals

If you set smaller goals - say for instance - pledging to ride the treadmill 15 minutes per day instead of an hour - you’ll be less overwhelmed.  Ali Ghani, an Edmonton fitness advocate, and entrepreneur says, “Be realistic.  For instance, instead of saying, “I want to cut out carbs completely,” change the goal to, “I want to swap out green beans for potatoes.”  

Then, gradually substitute more healthy foods for the bad ones. Soon, you’ll find that you’re making a lifestyle change instead of going cold turkey or trying to keep up with a fad diet.

Get Active

Even if you can’t make it on the Peloton as often as you’d like, any increase in your activity level is a great way to support healthy weight loss. One way you can try to stick to your resolution after January is to go for a brisk walk before lunchtime or lift 5 lb. weights once a day. Every little thing adds up. Again, start small and then gradually work your way up to incorporate a weekly fitness regime that you won’t want to miss. (1)

Eat Enough Calories 

Most modern diets involve cutting down or significantly reducing your daily caloric intake. In actuality, by doing this, you may be overdoing it on foods that are healthy but also high in calories, such as avocados and peanuts. Instead of cutting calories try maintaining portion control. 

“Not getting enough nutrition can backfire, explains Ali Ghani of Edmonton. “Very low-calorie diets providing less than 1,000 calories per day can slow down your metabolism and even lead to muscle loss.”

Try downloading a calorie tracker app or starting a food journal to keep track of your daily food intake. (2)

Drink More Water

Speaking of goals, by now you have probably heard about the importance of drinking water, especially because your body can sometimes confuse thirst for hunger. This year, really try to drink eight glasses of water per day. If drinking water is difficult for you, mix it up by infusing fruit or vegetables to add some added flavor.

Aim to Incorporate a More Overall Healthy Lifestyle 

When it comes to keeping your New Year’s fitness and health goals in 2021, registered dietician Claire Chewning suggests the following advice:  “Adding on a fruit or a vegetable, maybe it’s adding on more sleep, maybe it’s adding more interaction and connection with those you love via zoom like we’re doing here. It can be food-related but I think we all have to remember that there are so many pieces to the puzzle so do speak when it comes to our health.”

Sign Up for Help 

Maybe you’re a bad cook, or perhaps you can’t even figure out how to fry an egg.  Don’t fret, there’s help available to you in the form of meal delivery services that make healthy eating much more attainable. Just do a little research to find a meal plan that aligns with your health goals. 

Remember, don’t set your expectations too high and start slow. These are the best ways to help your resolution stick well past January.

Benjamin Wilson

He is a fitness trainer and part-time blogger interested in nutrition and in leading a healthy lifestyle. He writes smart and inspirational articles on nutrition supported by scientific research and his own personal experience in the healthcare industry.
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