Losing weight is high on the list of New Year’s Resolutions. I know it’s tempting to hit the cookies and treats hard between now and the stroke of midnight on January 2 (because let’s be honest, who actually starts their diet on Jan 1? You have bowl games, brunch and that lazy cat feeling for one last last day).
But I’m here to gently suggest that you set some plans in motion NOW so when January 2 rolls around, you’re one step ahead of the game. And maybe even down a pound or two.
Tip #1: You Bite It – You Write It
Journaling, according to many studies increases your chances of losing weight. It doesn’t have to be a fancy App or anything technical, a notepad will do. Write the date at the top of each page and then indicate the times that you eat. Start out by journaling three days of your current eating. Then take a look at these days and see what your current diet consists of and you can then see where you need to add healthier foods and cut back on the unhealthy stuff.
Tip #2: Brown Bag It
I love to dine out but I know that it’s a killer on the waistline so I bring my lunch to my office with me. I pack a big bowl of soup or some leftovers, a bunch of extra veggies (steamed spinach or green beans are quick to prepare) some fruit and yogurt for a snack and then an apple or grapes as my sweet treat after lunch. A great mid-afternoon snack is a whole wheat tortilla smeared with a tablespoon of almond butter and wrapped around a half or whole banana. It has protein, carbs and fiber and will get you to dinner at 6 or 7pm.
Tip #3: It’s Not Celebreat!
This season, be discriminating. See’s Candy is delightful but I can buy a box almost any day of the year so when they appear in front of me during the holidays, they are not my go to. On the flip-side, those stinking Danish butter cookies in the blue round tin are only around during the holidays so I will enjoy them because I do not eat them any other time. But only 2, because that 3rd cookie is bad news. Same goes for a holiday meal. I happily dive into my Prime Rib dinner because I have it maybe twice a year. I eat it (a big slab) and enjoy every bite. But I won’t pile my plate with mashed potatoes or the green bean casserole. I can make mashed potatoes any time and don’t care for the green beans so I just pass that bowl to the person on my left.
Tip #4: Start Your Engines
Whatever else you do this holiday season, please eat breakfast. Your little body is hungry in the morning and needs fuel so you can face the day and get stuff done. If you are running out the door at least grab a banana or a slice of whole wheat toast with nut butter and then have your fruit and yogurt mid-morning if you need it. I know many of you enjoy a shake or a fruit smoothie for breakfast because they are fast but I’ll give you one thing to think about. Your body does not register drinking liquids the same as it does when you eat foods so if you drink a 400 calorie smoothie (1 cup berries, 1 cup yogurt, 1 banana and a cup of OJ is about 400 calories) you will be hungry more quickly than if you ate 1 cup cooked oats topped with 1 cut up apple, 1/2 oz almonds and a cup of yogurt.
Tip #5: Move
Get in some exercise. The holidays are taxing; emotionally, physically and financially. Release some endorphins, burn calories and work up a sweat at least 4 days a week and you’ll feel better.
Have a great holiday season. Enjoy it all but remember, it’s not the Last Supper.
Now go run!