It’s that time of year again when carb intake shoots up and exercise frequency drops down. What with all the mince pies, alcohol and late nights of December, most of us end up a little out of shape come New Year’s Eve. But, with a fresh year on the horizon, it’s time to think about some healthy changes for 2017. Whether you want to lose weight, or just get stronger, there are lots of ways to slim down and shape up in 2017.
Try the GOLO diet
GOLO was actually the most searched diet online in 2016 and yet somehow managed to stay mostly under the press radar. The diet is designed to help control weight by managing insulin. Meals are designed around fresh food and are low in processed ingredients. Insulin is the hormone that the human body uses to turn sugars from food into energy. The aim of the diet is to eat in a way that allows insulin to work properly and to encourage weight loss, rather than gain, from properly using food as fuel.
Work your exercise around your life
Tough Mudder (and similar endurance races) have become big business in 2016. However, if you don’t have the time to ‘train’ on a daily basis and you don’t want to give up on a social life, you don’t have to. Any expert will tell you that the exercise plan that works best is one you can stick to. If 6am gym sessions and daily runs make you miserable and interrupt you life then you won’t last long. Work exercise into – and around – your life instead. Walk or cycle to work, do 15 minutes of yoga at home via YouTube instead of forcing yourself to pay for a class, and take up a team sport with the kids so exercise doesn’t have to be alone. Be creative and practical when it comes to exercise and you’ll find it much easier to stick to.
Be a wellness tourist
Wellness tourism is growing 50% faster than standard tourism, according to hospitality industry reports. The trend for holidays that are also boot camps or teach a new form of fitness will get bigger in 2017. If your idea of a holiday is doing absolutely nothing but sleeping, eating, drinking and partying then that’s fine too. But the new breed of wellness holidays can be just as enjoyable and help you avoid the post-holiday come down. From yoga, to trail running, crossfit and horse riding, wellness tourism comes in all shapes and forms.
Ok, so this really isn’t for everyone. However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that veganism helps with all sorts of health issues, from blood pressure to bad skin, and especially with weight loss. If you don’t want to be a vegan permanently, one or two vegan weeks per month can be just as beneficial. With many of the food trends for 2017 leaning towards vegetable innovation and dairy free eating, being a vegan is going to get a lot easier.
Tap into tech
We’ve already seen the popularity of wearable technology that allows you to monitor information such as calories burned and steps taken. In 2017, many of the diet and fitness trends incorporate smart phones, smart watches and the online world. From live stream exercise classes and workout apps, to personal nutrition advice and digital delivery diets, the tech world is set to help all of us meet our diet and fitness goals next year. The great advantage of all this personal tech is that it makes advice and coaching much easier on a personal level. If you can’t afford a personal trainer or nutritionist then there might be an app for it instead. For anyone who hasn’t had the greatest success on their own, the biggest tip for 2017 is get some tech help.
Remember that there is no one size fits all solution
All of us are unique, from the way our bodies are made, to the diets and exercise we respond to. Perhaps the most important tip for a healthy body in 2017 is to find out what works for you. Some people are great on a sugar free diet, others respond well to fasting. You may find that cutting portion sizes does the trick or perhaps a protein rich menu will work instead. Avoid following diet fads and exercise trends for the sake of it and make 2017 the year that you understand how your body actually works and what will keep it healthy.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley