First came the trick-or-treat candy fest, then gobbles of turkey and sides, and finally the heaps of holiday cookies. While a festive holiday season left us all with wonderful memories, it also left behind some pesky pounds. And chances are, the New Year brought with it a resolution to shed the holiday pounds! The goal may seem daunting, but there are a handful of tried-and-true tricks that have a track record of helping shave off pounds and keep them off. Try these 6 habits of successful dieters to stick with your resolution and accomplish your goal.
It can be helpful to see what you’re putting into your body . While you may think you’ve stayed on track, your food journal will remind you of that trip to the candy jar or the soda you sipped with lunch. Don’t like using a traditional hand written food journal? no problem. Just take a picture with your cell phone and make a notation about your meal. Or try using a food photo journal app.
With everything recorded, you can identify problem areas and work on techniques to combat the issues (like bringing an apple or cereal bar to munch on rather than opting for the candy jar when your sweet tooth kicks in).
Tracking calories isn’t a bad way to kick off your weight loss efforts, but don’t get lost in the numbers. It’s not just about how many calories you’re consuming — it’s about where they are coming from, too. An 150-calorie omelet made with egg whites, lean turkey and spinach packs in lots of proteins and nutrients, a far better choice than a 150-calorie pastry or latte for breakfast. Instead of getting stuck on the numbers, aim to fill your diet with wholesome, natural foods and chances are your calorie intake will fall into a healthy range.
Invite a friend, neighbor, significant other or family member to join in on the weight loss effort. Make a date to go to the gym, cook a healthy meal together, or just act as moral support. Sticking to a weight loss plan and achieving your goals is so much easier when there is someone else holding you accountable. You’ll think twice about skipping that morning workout when you’ve already planned to meet a friend by the treadmills!
Too many people make the mistake of completely eliminating their favorite foods from their diet when trying to shed pounds. It’s unnecessary! All it takes is having a few smart swaps under your belt to enjoy foods that taste indulgent, but are better-for-you alternatives. By rehabbing your favorites, you can keep them in the rotation and prevent yourself from feeling deprived, which often leads to binging.
We’re only human — we all stray off the path a little now and then! Rather than totally denying yourself, set up a meal once a week where you can enjoy your favorite less-than-healthy foods without the guilt. We call this having a “flex meal” not cheating. Cheating sounds so naughty and can lead to guilty feelings. Being flexible allows you to be in charge of how much and how often you treat yourself without over doing it. Maybe on Friday nights after work you join your friends for a cocktail, or on Sundays you have a romantic Italian meal with your significant other. Whatever it is, give yourself a flex meal to look forward to and you’ll be far less likely to binge the rest of the week.