The new year inspires health resolutions to get you back into mental and physical shape, whether for personal or family care. What better way to start than today, since it’s the beginning of another 365 days, right?
Of course, a different kind of inspiration can take hold of you during this time, too: laziness! The earliest of the new year can lead to complacency and pushing back of these new healthy habits. Before you know it, it’s another year, you’ve achieved zero of your goals, and you need to visit a general doctor for new, bothersome sicknesses.
But don’t fret! Today’s article is all about avoiding these post-holiday health hazards that could increase your blood sugar and prevent you from living the healthy life you planned at the year’s start.
There’s a fine line between inspiration and impulse. One creates consistent, sustainable habits while the other flakes out in the middle of the routine. Can you guess which one is better for a healthier you?
Avoid eliminating everything you enjoy eating once your calendar reads January 1. Crash dieting instantly drops your energy and blood sugar levels to a point where you’ll end up craving all the unhealthy foods you prohibited yourself from having.
Family care will be much more complicated once you or your loved ones fall back into that bad habit since restriction is the primary motivation for healthy living, not sustainability. Instead, gradually take out high-sugar and -fructose food from your diet.
Ease them away from you per meal, then per day, then per week. Going slow and steady makes the adjustment easier for your body as you slowly wean it from simple carbs and replace them with complex carbs instead.
In the same vein as crash diets, impulsive workouts with zero planning and goal setting will ruin your health efforts within the first week. It does not maintain a sustainable pace since you’ll be working out thinking these exercises quickly eliminate weight gain, then give up when you don’t see quick results.
Much like introducing a new diet, ease in new workouts slowly, especially if you were particularly inactive during December. Doing so protects your body from energy crashes and calorie consumption where you feel the need to overeat only to refuel.
Since your body has gotten used to eating unhealthy food at this point, you’ll be gaining even more back if you subscribed to a crash diet.
Always research your particular body type, what parts you gained fat in, and which workouts best target those areas. Do not be tricked into executing a maximum number of sets and reps at the onset either. Spread them out at a rate you can comfortably do since dieting and working out is for long-term gains. Training yourself at a sustainable pace will prevent untimely trips to a general doctor since it protects you from injuries.
Pro-tip: Always stretch only after working out, not prior, to maintain muscle and joint health and prevent the morning-after aches and pains commonly associated with exercising.
Maintaining the energy for proper diet and exercise requires adequate sleep (eight hours a day from 9 p.m. onwards.) The danger of sleeping past that time (even if you get eight hours) is that your body releases less leptin (the hormone responsible for satiety), leading you to eat more since you need greater energy to stay up.
In turn, your body does stay up but doesn’t burn it as efficiently since it’s in a state of rest. Therefore, you store more fat and gain more of it in the process. These could lead to a trip to your general doctor since saturation of fat and sugars in your system may result in severe heart conditions or diabetes.
A Healthier, Happier You
Moderation is one of the keys to good health. Eat a balanced diet without instantly restricting yourself, gradually build yourself up to workouts without unnecessary increases, and sleep on time. Remember these sustainable habits to lower your blood sugar, and you’ll notice yourself staying and feeling healthy all year round!
For more practical health tips in the North Bergen and Secaucus regions of New Jersey, set an appointment with Garden State Medical Group today! Our board-certified general and family doctors practice multidisciplinary integrative and functional medicine focusing on prevention, management, and education. Check out our diabetes prevention and education health program now!