Want some help keeping your resolution to lose weight, get healthy and feel better than ever in this new year? The truth is, losing weight is much easier than everyone would have you believe. Here are a few simple tips to make this year's resolution into a keeper:
1. Start the year with a easy five-day program called Reset that totally gets rid of cravings for high fat, sugar and salt foods. Doing this will set the stage for your success.
2. Decide on a specific goal (number of pounds you'll lose, your desired weight or even your new, skinny pants size) and write it down in a visible place--or even draw a picture of what you'll look like when you achieve your goal!
3. Set and write down realistic exercise goals for yourself. For sustained weight loss, you'll need to exercise at least 30 minutes per day, six days per week. At least 2 days should focus on strength training--start with elastic bands for resistance moves or light weights. The rest should be cardiovascular exercises, such as moderate to fast walking, dancing, and so on. Why bother with weight training? The bigger your muscles are, the more calories your body will burn 24/7.
4. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Lots of research has come out in the past few years showing how hormones released during sleep are essential for slimming down AND keeping the weight off.
5. Clean out your cupboards and throw out all the foods that may threaten your success (salty snacks, sweets, and so on). If it's not in the house, you won't eat it! (If you don't have the willpower to do it yourself, ask your spouse or a friend to do it with, or even for, you.)
6. Buy a set of small plates, bowls and glasses and sell your large ones. Research shows that even healthcare professionals (who are supposed to be ultra-knowledgeable about health) serve themselves less food when eating on smaller plates vs. larger ones.
7. Keep food well sealed in cupboards, the fridge, or the freezer. Having food out and in plain view in the office or at home invites frequent snacking--just what you don't want. The less you see it, the less you'll eat.
8. Have a healthy snack with some fiber and maybe a little protein (think: an apple or pear with a slice of cheese, or whole grain crackers with a dab of nut butter) and a glass of water 30 minutes before going out to eat or to a social event.
9. Find a partner or family member to help you stay on track. If possible, choose someone who has a similar goal. Set regular "dates" with this buddy to exercise together, share recipes, and give and get moral support. If you don't know anyone who's trying to lose weight, still try to find someone who'll commit to helping you stay on target and set a regular time to check in with that person and do something fun together, like going dancing, or even taking a walk in the park.
10. Make eating an event in itself. Rather than multitasking, set the table, turn off the TV, sit down and really taste and enjoy your food at each and every meal. Eat foods that you really enjoy (even ones that aren't low calorie)--carefully chew them thoroughly and notice how they taste. If you notice that you're eating something you don't really like, stop eating it and choose something else. Pay close attention to your body and notice when you're full. Drink a cup of water or a hot liquid such as unsweetened tea or coffee after a meal, or brush your teeth to tell your body that the meal has ended.
11. Reward yourself--if you have a big goal, break it down into smaller increments and give yourself rewards (i.e. a night at the movies, a new book, a night out with friends, etc.) each time you reach a partial goal. When you are close to reaching your whole goal, celebrate in style! Throw a party, give yourself a day at the spa, or a long weekend at the beach in your new skinny swimsuit--you've earned it!
If you're really ready to get started and you'd like more tips, I'm more than happy to help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do everything I can to help you.