It’s not hard to believe that losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution each year. After a holiday season of overindulgence and little to no exercise, our pants are tight and our bodies feel sluggish. Unfortunately, our good intentions are derailed in the first week or two because we don’t have the tools needed to support our plan. These proven weight loss tips will help you stay on track and reach your goal.
Keep a Food Journal
The key to most successful weight loss plans is keeping a food journal. Writing down everything you eat holds you accountable for your calorie intake. Plus, a food diary shows you how quickly the calories add up from that seemingly innocent handful of chips or bite of cookie. Don’t depend on your memory at the end of the day; record your food as you go.
Increase Your Daily Physical Activity
Exercise is important for your overall health and fitness, plus, it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Increase whatever physical activity you are currently doing by adding 10 minutes a day, or increase the intensity from low to moderate. A pedometer is a great way to track your activity levels each day. Gradually increase your daily number of steps with 10,000 or more steps being optimal.
Choose Nutrient Dense Foods
A nutrient-dense food contains many vitamins and minerals but not very many calories. You can get these through a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and lean meats and fish. Getting vitamins and minerals through food ensures that your body is able to absorb them properly. You’ll find most nutrient-dense foods around the perimeter of the grocery store. As much as you can, stay away from processed, pre-packaged items.
Eating small snacks in between meals keeps your metabolism humming. The ideal snack food, like a pear and low fat cheese, has some protein, some smart carbohydrates, some fiber and some fat.Include snacks as part of your daily calorie allowance. Keep portable, healthy snacks like mixed nuts, raw veggies and fruit in your desk, backpack or car.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Most of us want to see quick results, and while those quick results can keep you motivated, it’s important to put numbers in perspective. Shedding just a single pound of body fat is like melting 16 ounces of shortening off of your body, making a huge difference in how you feel and how your clothes fit. So rather than getting hung up on numbers, focus on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and other changes, like clearer skin. And remember, one bad day or week doesn’t mean you have to give up.