posted in Weightloss Management // 2.01.16
How to Keep Your New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions
Another new year has passed, and like many people, you may have decided to make a new year’s resolution to finally lose that weight. Maybe you’ve tried to do it before in the past, and for whatever reason you weren’t able to be successful.
The fact is that weight loss is about making positive lifestyle changes. Instead of thinking about temporarily eating a certain way and a short-term exercise plan, it’s time to think about readjusting the way you understand nutrition, activity and your overall wellness. Once you get into that mindset, then you should be able to find more success. There are several additional tips to help get started on your brand new 2016 weight loss journey.
Use a Food Diary
Studies have shown that people who have successfully lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off have been able to do so with the help of a food diary. A food diary is a tool that dieters can use in order to record everything they eat within a day. Why is a food diary helpful? Well, the reality about what we weigh is that it is mostly connected to the amount of calories that we consume. Many people don’t realize how much they are truly eating until they sit down and detail every single bite of food that goes into their mouths. With a food diary, someone who is watching his or her weight can be aware of the exact amount of calories eaten per meal. Over time, a person may spot patterns to their eating. Some people get mindlessly hungry in the afternoon or maybe late at night. If a calorie goal has been set, and there is room for a snack, it could be scheduled during the times when you are most hungry. It is also possible to make careful substitutions of various foods, so that calories are saved along the way. Along with a food diary, it is important to be realistic about portion sizes and to pay careful attention to food labels. At times, it may be necessary to use a food scale to match what the label says, so that the calorie count in the food diary is accurate.
Discover the Power of Protein
When you’re limiting your calories, it’s important to eat foods that are not only low calorie, but also filling and nutritious. Lean protein is the key to keeping your stomach satisfied and your waistline slim. Protein also helps feed the muscles in your body that you want to sustain as you lose weight. The best protein choices for people trying to get in the shape of their lives include the following:
- Skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breast
- Low fat or nonfat dairy (milk, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese)
- Pork tenderloin
- Egg whites
- Fish and shellfish (salmon, tilapia, shrimp, crab)
Focus on Fiber
Another way to keep your body at its most efficient and to boost your weight loss is to increase your fiber intake. Scientists have found that merely increasing your fiber, without any change in calorie consumption, can help some people lose weight. Fiber is a carbohydrate that is found in many healthy, whole grain foods. Besides being helpful for weight loss, fiber can additionally help lower cholesterol, decrease blood sugar and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fiber helps us feel full faster, which makes many people eat less. It also helps our food move through the body more efficiently. Most people in this country are not getting the recommended daily dose of fiber. Instead of trying to receive your fiber by using powders or added supplements, focus on getting it naturally through delicious low-calorie, high fiber foods including:
- Brown rice
- Cooked barley
- Black beans
Keep Yourself Moving
Along with calories that you consume, successful weight loss can also be contributed to the calories that go out of your body through activity. In order to create a caloric deficit, which is how our bodies lose weight, your body must burn more calories than it needs. Although not as important as your diet, exercise can be a strong instrument that leads to long-term weight loss triumph. Many experts recommend about 150 minutes of activity per week in order to help maintain a caloric deficit. A person’s age, gender, height and weight may make this amount of exercise minutes increase or decrease because our bodies all have different needs. There is no particular sport or exercise that is recommended more than any other. The best thing to consider is picking an activity that you enjoy and one that you will be able to regularly participate in. Your activity should get your heart rate up for a period of time as well. Some possible exercise activities are hiking, running, swimming, aerobics, dancing or biking. Beyond losing weight, regular exercise is also beneficial for your overall cardiovascular health and your mood, so get up and start moving!
Don’t Resist Strength Training
Once you begin an exercise routine, it’s important to not forget to include strength training. When we first start losing weight, sometimes your body can begin to take fuel from your muscles, which can weaken your body. In order to maintain your lean muscle mass, along with eating protein, it’s important to consider resistance training. Many people imagine resistance training as a stark, sweat filled room with giant barbells and heavy weights that are being lifted by big, muscled men. The truth is, though, that we all need resistance training, not just aspiring bodybuilders. If you’re trying to get into the best shape of your life and lose weight, you need to spend some time in the weight room. Don’t be afraid of turning your physique into a bodybuilder’s. Bodybuilders are athletes who follow a very specific and extreme weight lifting routine and diet. For the average person who is trying to tone up and lose a few pounds, there is no way he or she can get anywhere close to that extreme type of muscle building. So don’t be afraid of a little resistance. Exercising your muscles can help conserve your lean body mass and can help boost your metabolism for weight loss.
Remember, the key to changing your life is to actually change your lifestyle and be consistent. Following these tips can help you make sure that by this time next year, you’ll be enjoying your success instead of starting over at day one.