Updated: Mar 20
It’s that time of the year again. The new year is here and so are the new goals and resolutions. A healthy lifestyle does not hurt anyone and can only bring us benefits. Besides, it can prevent the risk of several diseases and I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, practicing prevention of diseases is digested better than trying to find a cure. A new year can always be the motivation you have been looking for and it can be powerful enough to instigate a total life change in terms of dietary choices. I know that because I still remember like if it was yesterday, when I became a professional swimmer back 2010, I knew that from that year on, I would have to make better and healthier dietary selections in order to achieve longevity in my profession.
Although it might seem simple to make resolutions, it is extremely hard to keep up with them. When reality hits and we all get busy with our schedules, the first thing we tend to lose is the track of our diet. In this article I am going to discuss a little more about the importance of a healthy balanced diet and give some tips on how I do it and keep my consistency with my diet throughout the whole year. It is extremely possible and I will show you how.
New Year, New Diet?
The first thing that needs to be addressed is that maybe, just maybe, you don’t need to go full 180 degrees on your diet. Let’s be honest, it is extremely hard, not to mention uncomfortable, to just change everything you have been doing specially in terms of routine. I personally hate not having a routine or having to change my routine all of a sudden. When people change their diets completely, what ends up happening is that they stick with the new one for about a week or so (some don’t even make it that long) and they get tired and slip off badly, jeopardizing the whole diet program.
My tip here is to slowly change things, set small goals, learn to adapt and then moving on to the next change towards your bigger goal. Setting realistic small daily goals is key to longevity in terms of adopting a new habit or diet. A healthy lifestyle should not be a sprint, it should be a marathon. Also, let’s keep in mind that having a set goal or target to where you can work towards will help even more. If you’re looking to lose weight or simply having a healthier lifestyle, small changes and consistency in the new routine are the key to success.
For example, I’ve always been a huge coffee guy. I love coffee-anything. Four years ago I started to drink coffee without any sugar or sweetener. I must confess that the first month it felt weird, but after that phase I lost my craving for sugar completely in every aspect of my life. Now I don’t even crave anything sweet solely because of the fact I slowly stopped consuming sugar in my diet and pushed through with consistency to finally get rid of it.
But what are the benefits of a healthier diet?
Well, for this one I am assuming I don't have to extend myself too much. A healthier balanced diet can only bring us benefits in the short and long run in terms of having a better life. Some of the most evident benefits of adopting a healthier diet are:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.” That means that we could achieve a better state of well being in general if we took more care of our diet and of our kids diets. Obesity is a serious disease that needs to be carefully looked at. By setting small goals such as a better choice of ingredients and portion sizes we already can make a huge difference in terms of our overall nutrition.
A recent NHS report (British National Health System) states that “dietary improvement not only promotes more sustainable weight loss, it can have significant improvements on metabolic health in both the short and long-term. Whilst the diet industry may promote kilocalorie restriction, these reviews agree that the advice should be to focus on good nutrition for weight loss and improved health outcomes. The benefits of making long term, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle and will go far beyond just a new year’s resolution list.”
Reduced risk of diseases
According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer are some of the most common diseases caused by a poor diet and could be avoided by making smart food choices on a daily basis.
In a study released in 2016, researchers found evidence that a diet with a high glycemic load may cause increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. It’s no secret either that we tend to feel better about ourselves and our routines if we are able to keep a healthy balanced diet schedule in comparison to eating fast food every other day.
Improved muscular recovery
An improved balanced diet is essential if you ore one to perform physical activities on a daily basis and looking for a better performance or even just a better incentive. An improved diet is the essential fuel to bring our exercises to the next level. I personally always look for natural products, with no sugar if possible and no artificial anything. 10 years as a professional swimmer have taught me that once I finish a hard day of work I have to make sure I am recovering correctly and effectively for the next day. That’s why I try to focus on products that will replenish electrolytes and calories that I need in a natural way.
Overall, like I showed you above, a healthier diet can only bring benefits to our health and well being. If you have things such as “eating healthy” or “lose weight” in your New Year’s resolution list this year, I challenge you to stay consistent and stay focused throughout the whole year by implementing some of the tips I gave you. The most important part is to get started and not give up. It might seem harder at first but I guarantee it is worth it and you will adapt in the long run!
It’s also important to look for products that support your fitness and health goals. As a professional swimmer, majority of the products and food I consume are from a natural background with extremely low to zero sugar and I choose not to have any artificial products on them. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink has been helping me recover after my swim workouts by replenishing my electrolytes with the right quantity while keeping me away from sugar and artificial sweeteners or food dye. If you want to check out the online store, you can use the code PM10 for a discount on your checkout.