Year after year, losing weight continues to be one of the top New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately many people give up along the way, whether because of lack of time, lack of persistence, or simply stress. I hope the following tips will help you succeed:
- Think small: The best way to achieve your resolutions to get in shape is to break it into small and realistic goals. For example, instead of targeting 50 pounds of weight loss this year, plan to lose one or two pounds per week. Also, don’t try to change all your eating habits overnight; instead plan to eat a fruit for dessert or a vegetable for lunch and dinner. By making small gains, you will build the confidence needed to make your resolution a reality.
- Eat mindfully: Mindfulness happens when you are paying full attention to what you are doing at the moment. Eating and multi-tasking will only lead to overeating. So listen to your body and stop when you are satisfied. Another way to practice mindful eating is paying attention to what’s driving you to eat. So the next time you want to eat out of boredom or fatigue, go for a walk or get some rest.
- Be kind to yourself: stress and anxiety can lead us to overeat. Meditation, yoga or Tai-chi are ideal to help you deal with those feelings of uneasiness. Daily practice of these techniques can help us become more aware of our actions and decisions, including the ones related to food.
- Get your Zzzs: Sleeping soundly make you feel refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on any challenge. Sufficient rest plays an important role in weight management, research shows. Sleep deprivation can alter certain hormones, such as ghrelin, which is known to increase cravings for carbohydrate foods.
- Make exercise a priority: You may know that exercise can help you relax and boost your metabolism; but still have difficulty sticking with a routine. The key is to find a physical activity that you enjoy. Whether it’s attending a zumba class with friends; going solo to a spinning class or boot camp; swimming or skating, find the exercise that suits your lifestyle and have fun with it! The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.
- Consult an expert. One strategy that would help you jump start your weight loss resolution is to visit a registered dietitian nutritionist. To find one in your area, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website (www.eatright.org).
Have a fabulous new year and remember there’s no better day than today to start taking care of your mental and physical health.