The New Year is here. And it is at this time that diet programs and supplements are touted in the media as ways to lose weight and make life better. Before spending time and money on something that may not work or that may be unhealthy, consider these points first.
- Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Set weight-loss goals that are doable. For example, instead of stating that you want to lose weight, make a goal to lose ten pounds.
- Be mindful of what you do. This means concentrate on what you are eating when you eat. Turn off the TV, get away from the computer, and eat meals at a table, not in the car.
- Keep a record of what you eat. Write down what and how much of everything that goes into your mouth. This is one of the most beneficial ways to change eating habits. A food diary provides information about eating challenges and shows the progress being made.
- Go for the healthy diet plans if you need structure. Consider Weight Watchers, the Dash Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, Dean Ornish's Spectrum, or local hospital programs. In Birmingham, check out UAB Eatright Services, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Greater Birmingham YMCA for more information about healthy weight loss.
- Be persistent. Follow the plan to achieve the results that you want. You may have setbacks, and you may want to adjust part of the plan to make it more realistic. What is important is getting back on the road to your goal.
- Be proactive and prepared. Bring a dish that you can eat to special events. Check out menus online before going to a restaurant. Ask servers how dishes are prepared. Take lunch from home.
- Share goals with supportive friends and family. A cheering section can do wonders if one is tempted to quit.
- Reward yourself when a goal is achieved. A movie, book, magazine, spa visit, or day trip are just some ways to celebrate a completed goal.
Remember, early steps may be small. So what? You are moving in the right direction, and that is what matters. Celebrate that you are taking control.
The articles written by Andrea Wenger, Birmingham Diets Examiner, are for informational purposes only and are not to be used in the place of medical advice. Please contact a licensed physician or other medical professional before changing any health care routine or before starting any diet, fitness, or exercise program. Although every effort has been made to include the most current information, new information is released daily and may cause some recommendations to change.