by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach
Did you overeat this holiday season? Did it feel like you were being pelted with food and drinks? What a crazy time of year!
After all the hoopla, we tend to go to extremes in the New Year. Over-committing to unrealistic goals can sabotage your efforts toward losing weight and staying healthy.
For example, saying no to sugar, booze, gluten, carbs or declaring you will go to the gym every day are not realistic ways to approach weight loss in the New Year.
By being sensible and positive, you are going to attain much better results.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in your weight loss efforts as we turn the calendar to 2016:
The first thing you need to do is turn down the volume on any “negative self-talk.” This is the most damaging behavior that follows the holidays.
Be kind to yourself, make a plan and stick to it. The best way to counter those negative thoughts is to take a few minutes before you go to bed each night and praise yourself for the things you did well that day.
Congratulate yourself for eating healthy, going to the gym, calling a friend to say hi or anything that you feel good about.
Instead of waiting for others to give compliments, be your own best friend and give yourself at least three positive strokes daily – you deserve these!
Sleep is one of the most important behaviors that falls apart during the holidays. With parties on “school nights” and staying out to later than usual because of marathon shopping and wrapping, we don’t get enough shut-eye.
So many extra activities this time of year tend to disrupt our good sleeping habits. When we are tired, our bodies often misinterpret our exhaustion as hunger, which wreaks havoc on our eating habits.
Sleep is the one behavior you need to get on top of right away. As the old saying goes, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”
The other time we think we are hungry when we are not is when we are dehydrated. Truly, water is the magic pill.
Have you ever gone to the gym, had a really intense workout and at the end, you thought, “I am starving!”
Instead of hitting the fridge the minute you walk through the door, drink a big bottle of water first. Then wait 15 minutes.
If you are still hungry, then eat a little something. But I can guarantee you that you will not eat as much if you hydrate first.
Drinking 64 ounces of water per day should be on the top of your list of good behaviors to establish this New Year.
An easy way to make this happen is to have two eight-ounce cups of water before each meal. It will give you a false full and you will eat less plus you will have finished six of your eight glasses for the day. Easy-peasy!
Was exercise another behavior that got kicked to the curb over the holidays? Hopefully your friends and family gave you cute new workout gear to sport in the New Year. If not, go buy some!!
Create a new playlist for your workouts or sign up for a new form of exercise. There are so many groups out there for yoga, Pilates, spinning and other types of exercise – add a new twist to an old routine.
Or go and hire a personal trainer to help you kick it up a notch. The most important thing to remember is to do something you enjoy so that you’ll want to repeat the behavior.
You might even want to start playing tennis or soccer so that you not only workout, but you are being social too!
Working out will not reverse the effects of what you eat but it will help send positive endorphins to your brain so you feel happy and more confident – and exercise also reduces stress.
By scheduling your workouts on your calendar, the probability of it happening goes up considerably.
And having a workout buddy helps even more. It is hard to blow off the gym if you have a friend waiting for you at the door.
When you start reassessing your eating in the New Year, set yourself up for success. When you go to the grocery store, make healthy choices by “shopping the walls” of the grocery store.
The best foods you can buy are the ones without labels. Then when you get home from the store, allow a couple of hours to prep your food so you have your own “fast food” to enjoy throughout the week.
By prepping, I mean cutting up your produce and putting it in clear containers on the shelf of the fridge for easy access.
When you open the door to your fridge, the first thing you see are colorful veggies. This makes it easier to make good food decisions.
Also, cooking meals ahead to enjoy during the week takes the challenges away on those nights when you get home late.
During your prep, make hard boiled eggs, baked potatoes and other foods that take some time to prepare, so it is easier to have healthy choices at home when you get back into your work routine.
Please get up on January 1st and say, “This is going to be an awesome year, I am excited about what is in my future, good things are on the horizon!”
Attitude is what makes things happen, so eat healthy, be active, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and have a positively wonderful 2016!
(published January 2, 2016)
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.