With the new year upon us and a lot of us thinking of how to work off the festive fun here are a few tips to keep your diet in check.
1: Baby Steps
Change is hard. Making small, gradual changes in your eating patterns is the best way to overhaul your diet. Some experts suggest making just one change each week, to give you time to get used to the new behavior. Your ultimate goal is to establish new eating habits that can be sustained for a lifetime.
An excellent way to start is to stock your cupboards and refrigerator with healthy foods, and plan to prepare healthier meals at home
2: Be realistic, don’t over-extend
Most people who need to lose weight set lofty goals, dreaming of fitting into clothing sizes that may not be realistic for them. Yet losing as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can improve the way you feel, put a zip in your step, and, most importantly, improve your health. Studies show that losing even small amounts of weight can improve overall health and, specifically, lower blood pressure, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Set weight loss goals that are attainable, and keep in mind that the recommended rate of weight loss is only 1-2 pounds per week. Slow and steady wins this race. It takes time to learn new eating habits that will last for the rest of your life.
3: Reward not punishment
To keep motivation high, reward yourself after reaching minigoals. After all, losing 5 pounds or making it to the gym five times in a week deserves a pat on the back. (remember don’t give yourself a food reward eg. A huge slice of cake for being good)
On the other hand, don’t be too hard on yourself when you fall off the wagon — everyone does, sooner or later. Anticipate that slipups will happen, and when they do, just brush yourself off and get right back on track. Use your slipup to learn where you are vulnerable, and decide how you will handle the situation the next time without abandoning your diet. My suggestion is try to do your best 80% of the time, and relax the rules somewhat the other 20% of the time.
I’ll put a few recipes together and if you have any of your own don’t be afraid to post them here!
Have a great day