As we move into the last week of January, many of us have already given up on our New Year's Resolutions, especially those related to losing weight. Often we embark on restrictive diets that are not only boring but also depressing. The thought of eating another chicken breast is unsatisfying and leaves you longing for that piece of chocolate cake or the donut in the kitchen at work. This year, stop thinking about rules and focus on STRATEGIES. Strategies are behaviors that you can implement daily that will help get you one step closer to not only reaching, but also maintaining your weight loss and wellness goals. Here are 5 strategies that will help you work towards a slimmer waistline.
Keep a Food Log: One of the benefits of keeping a food log is to become more aware of your eating patterns and habits. With this awareness comes an opportunity to make changes. If you find that you are starving by the time to get home from work, plan ahead and make sure you have a snack mid-afternoon or at least on your way home from work. Remember you don’t need a diet makeover. Small changes add up.
Cook at Home more Often: This boils down to knowing what is in your food. When you dine out, you have almost no control over what you consume. Somebody else is dictating your portion sizes and food quality. Also, restaurants are more concerned with their bottom line that your waistline! When you cook at home you not only save money but you also save calories. By saving money you will also be able to buy that new little black dress or swimsuit you have had your eye on!
Add Veggies to Breakfast: This is very common in Mediterranean cultures whereas in the American diet we tend to stick with more starchy breakfasts. Think about adding bell peppers or last night's veggies into your scrambled eggs or top your omelet with salsa. The added fiber will fill you up longer as well as bump up your anti-oxidant intake from the get-go.
Sweat: You've seen them, those individuals who go to the gym and just steam/sauna/shower and leave? Well, certainly they are doing something good for their bodies, but if that describes you, try to get your sweat on. Take a dance class, do yoga, walk your dog 5 minutes more each week. Moving and sweating gives you radiant skin, improves your mood and circulation and helps your long term health. You also burn calories and tone your body to keep you feeling fit and shapely.
Sleep for Success: Studies show that you really can’t make up lost hours of sleep by sleeping in on the weekends. When we are rested our body just works better. Our body craves consistency and sleep is a critical success factor that affects our energy, mental alertness, and even our motivation to workout. Your body needs time dedicated to recovery, to rest, and to burn fat in order to get lean. And for some, the later you stay up, the more likely you are to dig into the cabinets or refrigerator and consume extra calories!
What are some of the strategies that you know work for you?