Happy New Year! I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring you food and nutrition tips, what a great way to start the New Year! Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Let's kick those resolutions into gear with 12 simple steps to get you on the right track:
Step 1: Start Small
Are you throwing away most of your produce because it went bad? Or paying for a gym membership that you do not go to? We have good intentions to eat healthy and exercise but often make too many overwhelming changes at once. Stick to one lifestyle change at a time, such as committing to working out at least 3 times a week. Small steps lead to big changes.
Step 2: Set goals
Make one goal, such as I am going to eat one fruit or vegetable serving every time I eat a meal or snack. As you reach your goals, continue to set new ones.
Step 3: Find a buddy
Make a standing date with a friend to meet at the gym, a weight loss support group, or walk at lunch. It is more fun with you have a friend to laugh and lean on!
Step 4: Reward yourself
After you reach your goal, reward yourself! If you went to the gym 3 times a week for 1 month, get a massage, a new outfit, or a round of golf. Knowing there is a prize at the end of your hard work, makes it more tolerable and brings out your competitive side!
Step 5: If you fall, get back up
Well I blew it Friday with the pizza and drinks. I will start my diet again on Monday. Sound familiar? It’s easy to fall off the wagon, but it’s the people who climb back on who are the real “losers”!
Step 6: Weigh yourself routinely
In a large weight loss study, people who took corrective action after eating excessive calories were most likely to keep the weight off. What’s corrective action? Weighing yourself 1-2 times a week or exercising longer than normal before you dine out.
Step 7: Do something active every day
My favorite game with my family is right after dinner we play “dance party”. We put on music and bust a move. Other active things you can do include joining a walking club, parking further from work, or taking 15 minutes to walk before work.
Step 8: Plan your meals
What am I going to make for dinner? Ahh the age old question! I keep a dry erase board on the fridge with the days of the week on it and what we are having for dinner. It helps me plan out my meals and pull frozen food out to thaw the night before. A great website to find quick and easy recipes is Meals Matters at www.mealmatters.org, which even makes you a grocery list!
Step 9: Make a grocery list
Speaking of grocery lists…after you planned your meals, make a grocery list. Have you ever gone in the grocery store not really knowing what you are getting or worse hungry? Going hungry and without guidance can lead to some not so healthy food choices. Plus you save money!
Step 10. Eat out less
Data from our National Weight Loss Registry reveals people who lose weight and keep it off, eat out only 1-2 times per month. Navigating the menu to find healthier options is often difficult. Websites, such as www.calorieking.com, can help you find the healthiest items.
Step 11. Write it down
People who keep track of their portions are more aware of what they eat. In fact, people who write down what they eat or drink, lose twice as much weight as people who don’t. I challenge you to use ChooseMyPlate.gov as a tool to keep track of what you are eating.
Step 12. Move more, eat less
In the end, weight loss is an energy balance equation. Using free online programs, such as My Fitness Pal can help you keep track of your calorie (energy) intake. My favorite way to track my activity is wearing a pedometer every day. Aiming for over 6,000 steps a day, with the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day, will help you reach your goals to lose weight and be healthy.
Everyone at Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center wishes you a happy and healthy New Year!