One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight. The advantages to shaving off a few pounds are endless. From improving your short and long term physical and mental health, to saving money by preparing meals, and of course feeling more confident, many of us would love to enjoy the rewards of weight loss. However, when it comes down to it, it’s hard to change old habits and alter your lifestyle. Losing weight is hard, but definitely worth it, and we’ve got six tips that we hope will help you succeed this year!
- Set goals: Regardless of how much weight you want to take off, it’s likely that you’re going to feel a bit overwhelmed from the outset – which is okay! Instead of thinking of your ideal weight in terms of where you want to be next month, or worse, next week, start by figuring out how much you want to lose. From there, divide it into smaller, more attainable goals. For example, if you want to lose 75 pounds, separate it into 3 goals of 25 pounds each. From there, determine when you would like to meet these goals. With weight loss, it’s best to speak with your doctor to find out how much you can expect to lose each week.
- Don’t skip breakfast: As we’re sure you’ve heard before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Well, it’s true; enjoying a solid first meal of the day in the A.M. brings many benefits along with it. First and foremost, you’ll be giving your body important vitamins and nutrients, providing a jumpstart for the day. Next, you will improve your chances of not getting hungry before lunch and snacking on bad food. When at work, or on the go, it’s very convenient to eat poorly. By having breakfast, you’ll keep yourself more full until lunch and avoid snacking. Additionally, women who skip breakfast could be at a higher risk for diabetes.
- Snack wisely: As previously mentioned, snacks can be huge contributors to fat and calorie overloads. Salty and sugary snacks provide very little in terms of essential vitamins and nutrients, while saturating our bodies in sodium, sugar, fat, and calories. As you alter your eating habits, you may notice yourself become hungry more frequently. This is when it’s important to ensure you have healthy snacks around. Some great ones to start with are: raw, unsalted almonds, baby carrots, mixed berries or dried fruit, bananas, and hardboiled eggs. Try some of these, and see which ones you like; afterwards, bag up appropriate portions for you to bring to work.
- Take the stairs: While we’re not suggesting you start by jogging 15 floors to your office, this small transition can make a big difference. Next time you’re in a building or department store, consider that you’ve got a free stair master machine at your disposal! What’s more is that according to Duke University https://www.hr.duke.edu/benefits/wellness/exercise/takethestairs/benefits.php, people who climbed two flights of stairs everyday for a year saw 6 pounds of weight loss. Additionally, committing to taking the stairs throughout the day increases your overall active time greatly. Lastly, each time you climb a flight of stairs, your body releases endorphins which increase happiness!
- Count those calories: One of the most important steps in changing your eating habits is knowing exactly what you’re putting in you body now. While it may not seem like a lot, many small foods pack big punches in terms of calories these days. For example, some Starbucks coffees hover around 700 calories. On a 2,000 calorie per day diet, that’s 35% of your daily intake! From there, consider that a Chicken Deluxe Sandwich from Chick-fil-A has a whopping 500 calories. We recommend starting by using one of the many calorie counter apps for your smartphone (We like the free version of My Fitness Pal https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ ). By holding yourself accountable and having to record what you’re consuming, you will be motivated to skip those late-afternoon lattes, or candy bars!
- Avoid eating out: If you start keeping track of what you eat as mentioned in number five, you’ll see how much of a difference this makes. When you forego home cooked food you lose control over the whole creation process. This means that you’ll often be fed food that is low quality, yet high calorie, and high fat. These two aspects alone are a huge lose-lose for your body. Then, tack on the fact that many restaurants provide portions that are way too big, and it’s a three-way compounding problem. Eating at home will help you ensure you’re putting high quality food in your body, controlling portions, getting essential vitamins and minerals, and lastly also help your pocketbook!