It’s more than a month into the new year and no doubt some of those new year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit are beginning to wane.
For many people, resolutions fizzle out early because they are trying to change too many things at the same time.
This presents an overwhelming situation for people and often results in a premature surrender.
To help you achieve those bigger picture goals, it is important to make smaller scale resolutions as these more attainable changes would be easier to implement and stick with for the long term.
Here are some steps you can follow to help you reach those larger scale weight-loss goals.
Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up and before each meal. Most people don’t drink enough water each day, especially if they work in air-conditioned offices.
Help get your digestive system, metabolism, and circulation moving each morning by replenishing your body with a tall glass of water.
Drinking a glass of water before each meal also helps you feel full which can ultimately help you eat less.
If down sizing food portions is something you have struggled with in the past, this strategy will really help you. You can easily slash calories by eating your last meal of the day on a smaller, luncheon size plate rather than a full-size dinner plate.
Don’t worry, your appetite will adjust very quickly to the smaller serving of food.
Ditch the cookies
Kick your cookie habit and snack on frozen grapes after dinner.
The cookie habit can be a hard one to break especially after dinnertime when most people end up on the sofa in front of the television.
While two or three little cookies may sound harmless to some, this sweet little habit can add as much as 250 calories or more to your day.
So, resolve to satisfy that sweet tooth this year by snacking on one serving (20) of frozen grapes; you’ll save calories and finally kick that cookie habit.
You’ve heard the advice that eating a mid-afternoon snack helps prevent hunger later in the day.
This is one of the most important things you can do to help you reach your weight loss goal.
Planning for a 4pm snack will re-energise the body and build more motivation around an afternoon or evening workout.
Snacking mid-afternoon will also curb your appetite so that you do not arrive home ravenous and ready to raid the fridge.
If you have yet to master this one, focus your efforts on including a 150 or 200 calorie snack that includes protein: apple slices with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt with a half-cup of blueberries, or 12 raw almonds with an orange.
No chocolate, no chips, no cheeseburgers… When it comes to diet resolutions, swearing off your favourite food will ultimately backfire.
When a food is placed on the “forbidden” list, it becomes more desirable to you, leading to feelings of deprivation.
When you are bored, stressed, or emotional you are more likely to crave those taboo foods which will lead you to a binge.
This is the classic diet mentality of scolding yourself for “breaking your diet” and then resolving to start again tomorrow.
Rather than banishing all foods you love, plan for a weekly treat so that you won’t feel deprived and are able to stick to your weight loss plan this year.
Andrea Hill is a registered nutritionist based in the Cayman Islands.