Can you smell that?
Can you feel it?
It is the scent of freshness, of newness…..
It is the almost tangible prospect of new beginnings….it is hope…
Welcome to the month of May!
There is something about the first day of a month or week or year that triggers what I call the “goal achievement” instinct in us humans. Maybe it is the thought that, old things have passed away and all things can become new or the possibility of being able to start afresh, have a “do over”. Whatever it might be, you’ve most likely set a goal or given yourself a target to achieve something at some point in your life.
How about January 1st 2017 and your resolutions for the year? Counting back from today, that’s exactly 5 month ago and so much has taken place in the world since then it seems much more time than that has passed, you will probably be hard pressed to recall half of what you wrote in your notebook during the cross over service.
If I were to ask you what you thought the number one New Year resolution in the world will be, what would you say? I for one was positive it would be something money related and so was very surprised when it was “to lose weight/get healthy”
This should be one easy goal, right? Eat less than you currently do…move more than you currently do…simple isn’t it. Yes it is, if you have specific and actionable methods in place and I know you’re thinking “haba, it’s not that serious” but I’m here to tell you it is. Like every other goal, weight loss or getting healthy is possible only when you are deliberate and take action that will help you achieve this goal.
Because the purpose of this article is to help you set practical, realistic and achievable goals for this month, we are going to deal with three simple things you can do right now with nutrition and exercise that will make a noticeable difference by the end of the month.
Plan your meals
It doesn’t matter if you work in a bank or you work from home you’re going to eat! Take a few minutes to draw up a meal plan for the week (preferably during the weekend). The most important thing this does for you is it makes you conscious of what and how you’re eating and helps you make better choices. There’s something about seeing something on paper that makes things real and gives a true picture. Whether you take your meals in the office cafeteria or you make your food at home, there is always the better choice (proteins and veggies over carbs, avoid eating heavy meals at night e.t.c) and having a plan before hand helps you make the choices that bring you closer to achieving your goals.
Aim for at least 5,000 steps a day
Before I got someone to help round the house, there were days I took over ten thousand steps in a day! Cue in a maid and there were days I was barely clocking 4,000. Now I’m not saying you should fire your help (sanity is a key requirement for fitness) but make a conscious effort to move more than you do now. That could mean taking the stairs at work, walking instead of driving to the supermarket by the road; doing more chores around the house (I can sense the side-eye). Whatever it is, walking is the simplest form of exercise and a very effective weight loss method especially for those who work in offices and are seated for most of the day.
Yes, drink water…lots of it! There are arguments about the exact amount of water needed for optimal health daily but everyone agrees that drinking enough water daily is important. Our body Is essentially made up of water the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%! So imagine what damage can be done to the body when dehydrated. And when it comes to weight loss, it is a very effective tool in burning calories. A very effective way to up water intake is to reduce the amount of other beverages like soda and juices that you consume. Whether you decide to go with 8 glasses a day or 3 litres a day, the most important thing is to hydrate adequately.
“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken towards its achievement” – Bo Bennet
Separately, these tips might not bring about noticeable change but used together, you will be amazed at what difference a month of consciously working towards your goal can make. Take action today!
Damilola Bode-Ogundipe is a certified nutrition & wellness coach who is passionate about helping women live fit and healthy lives. When she doesn’t have her head buried in a book, she spends her time experimenting with recipes & theories on her long suffering husband and two amused kids. She’s on Instagram – @thefitmumhub and on Facebook – Thefitmumhub