by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach
‘Tis the season to be festive, and as a result, there go our waistlines! Are you feeling bloated after all the holiday festivities? “Food hangovers” are the worst!
No matter how hard you try to eat mindfully during the holiday season, it is still very challenging. This is why the two most popular New Year’s resolutions are “lose weight” and “exercise more.”
Try to be kind to yourself and don’t allow negative self-talk to take root. When the holidays are over, simply get back to eating healthy and being active.
Here are some tips on how to get back on track, lose weight and move your body more.
As you take your pen to paper (or your fingers to the keyboard), use positive and powerful language to make your goal real.
It’s important to “promise” or “commit” to accomplishing your goals. And also make sure your goals are measurable.
A couple of good examples would be: “I commit to taking off ten pounds by spring break,” or “I will go to the gym three times per week for an hour each time.”
After you determine your goals for the New Year, you need to make a plan. Your plan will ensure that results happen.
At the end of the day, you are what you eat. So do all you can to fill your body with nutritious foods that have you feeling great and make managing your weight that much easier.
#1) “Clean Sweep.”
After having several weeks of dinners, parties and holiday treats, many of our healthy habits have flown out the window. At the same time, sugary treats and high fat foods have found their way into our kitchens when they are normally kept away.
The first thing you need to do is purge your cupboards of any high fat or high calorie foods that will sabotage your new healthy eating plan. You need to make the cookies, candy and other treats disappear from your home, as well as from your work place.
Many people tend to bring their sugary contraband to work to get it out of their homes. If you can’t get rid of snacks at work, then position yourself far away from the areas where they are kept to make this journey easier.
#2) Don’t Skip Meals.
When you go without eating for long periods of time, it is like fasting. Then when you finally do eat, it is too hard to control how much you consume.
The most common meal that people skip is breakfast. Big mistake!
Studies have proven that you will eat less throughout the day when you eat a good breakfast.
#3) Don’t Shop When Hungry.
When you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a little something to eat before you go. Shopping on an empty stomach can cause you to make poor food choices and eat mindlessly, especially if their are samples offered throughout the store.
You can add several hundred unnecessary calories eating those little ‘drive-by’ treats.
#4) If You Bite it, Write it.
I know, I know. No one loves tracking what they eat. However, it has been proven that people who keep a food diary lose more weight.
#5) Wear tight clothes around the house.
After a long day, the first inclination is to change into pajama-type clothes to be more comfortable for the evening.
Nice concept, but a better plan is to wear your tightest jeans. It is harder to nosh on snacks when you feel your waistband tightening.
#6) Pay in Cash.
When you eat out and even when you go to the grocery store, pay for your food with cash; you will buy less and therefore eat less.
This works really well when going out to lunch.
When you are charging it, it is so easy to add a bag of chips or a cookie to your order. Whereas parting with cash can be more painful and you will order less.
#7) Slow Down!
Everyone is busy and as a result, most of us eat like vacuum cleaners and inhale our food. By taking your time to chew thoroughly and put your fork down between bites, you will feel full on less food.
It works every time!
#8) Get Your Sleep.
You probably saw this and thought, “What does sleep have to do with healthy eating?” The truth is, when we are tired, we don’t make good decisions and we often mistake exhaustion for hunger.
If you are thinking about food after eight or nine o’clock at night, then you are better off going to bed than adding a few hundred calories in snacks.
By drinking some water first, you won’t feel the need to eat as much.
Studies have proven that folks who drink two cups of water before a meal eat less. The recommended requirement for water is eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
One of the hardest things for people to do is stick with an exercise plan for more than a few weeks. Here are some suggestions that will hopefully make exercise a regular thing for you.
#1) Make Exercising Fun.
#2) Find a Workout Buddy.
It is a lot harder to blow off exercise when you have friend meeting you at the gym. But even if your buddy decides to bail on you, make sure you still go anyway.
#3) Keep a Workout Calendar.
Schedule your workouts on your calendar. They should be treated like an important meeting you can’t afford to miss.
This way the time has been blocked off and the probability of you working out is that much higher.
#4) Challenge Yourself.
Sitting on a bike and reading a book is not going to give you maximum results. As one quote says, “If you still look cute after your workout, you didn’t push hard enough.”
If you find it hard to push yourself, either sign up for a class or hire a personal trainer to push you.
#5) Speaking of Looking Cute…
If you didn’t receive any workout clothes as holiday gifts, splurge and buy yourself some new workout gear. It is more fun to go to the gym when you feel great in your apparel.
#6) Walk, Walk, and Walk some more.
Plus you can do it anywhere. Be sure to swing your arms as you walk to get your heart rate up.
Walking is the easiest way to add more activity to your life. You can take this up a notch by investing in a pedometer to track your steps.
Plus there are apps for your phone that will count your steps. If winter weather is an issue, you can always go inside and use a treadmill.
Or you can go to a mall (leave your wallet in the car) and walk the long corridors for exercise. Many malls list the mileage for their indoor walkers.
Now it is time for you to write your goals, make a plan and stick to it until your behaviors change to ensure a happy, healthy 2014.
You can do this!!!
(published January 10, 2014)
Judy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.