Spring is around the corner which means that most of our New Year resolution’s may have fizzled out with the last of the champagne. We tend to self-sabotage year after year with unrealistic and broad goals like “eliminating carbs” or “going to the gym every morning at 5 am”. When these said resolutions take the back burner, we feel defeated and vulnerable. And the cycle rears its ugly head. Before you beat yourself up for hitting the snooze button or unconsciously noshing on that soft pretzel in the break room, take a sigh of relief that there are simple behavior changes that you can start now to help you shed some of those left-over holiday pounds.
1. Get some sleep. Recent studies are making strong suggestions that link weight control to adequate sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours to keep appetite hormones and mood at bay.
2. Eat tapas style (small plates). We tend to eat with our eyes and not with our stomachs. This concept has been studied at nausea and they pretty much all say the same thing. Eat off the appetizer or salad plate, rather than the massive dinner plate, and you will most likely take in fewer calories. This concept works for snacks too. I like to use ramekins for chips, nuts and even ice-cream. Easy, effortless portion control!
3. Write it down. Keep daily food journals as a self-monitoring tool. It can serve as a form of therapy or the proverbial slap on the wrist. You are less likely to mindlessly graze on the bowl of M&M’s if you have to write it down. Try to keep detailed journals including where your meals were consumed, how you were feeling (starved, stressed, etc), and the portion size. This may be helpful to link intake patterns to specific behaviors or environment.
4. Keep moving. Whether you religiously get to the gym four days each week, or not, it is important to stay active seven days a week. Increasing lifestyle activity (walking the dog, household cleaning, taking the stairs, avoiding long periods of sitting) can be just as effective in weight loss and maintenance. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.
5. Avoid eating in front of the T.V or computer. Not only is it unsanitary, but it may be a major contributor to a growing waist line. Designate one, distraction-free area for eating all meals and snacks.
As a healthcare professional specializing in nutrition and weight loss, I try to facilitate my clients to work through the barriers and rethink through the strategies for success. In most cases, I can usually link specific behaviors as barriers to their weight loss goals. For more information about these personalized services, visit my website RDMealPlan.com or Contactus@RDMealPlan.com.