So you’ve made your New Year’s Resolutions! And the results from our New Year’s resolution poll are in: most people are looking to lose weight and get more fit in 2014.
As January starts, we are all sadly munching on our carrot sticks after a month or more of holiday gluttony. I thought it would be appropriate to devote our January Doctor’s Corner to a look at some of the best weight loss tricks that I’ve come across. So let’s see if together we can make your New Year’s pound shedding a little bit easier.
Here are some small changes that may make a big difference on your waistline:
Trick yourself into moving a bit more than you did before
Walk instead of drive. If you drive, park on the far side of the lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go to the water cooler upstairs instead of on your floor.
Help yourself eat smaller portions
When you get that humongous portion at the restaurant, before you take a bite, cut it in half and put one aside to take home. If you are cooking at home, put away the leftovers before you sit down to eat to avoid picking out of the pans after you’re done. Drink lots of water to fill yourself up. Portion out snack foods like chips and candy into small one-portion baggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Try using smaller plates, or a kid’s plate.
Hide the temptations
You don’t have to ban cookies and sweets from your kitchen entirely, just put them out of sight, like on the top shelf of the tallest cabinet.
Keep healthy stuff readily available
Put fruit on display in the kitchen. Keep a few energy bars or low-fat crackers in your desk drawer at work to avoid visiting the vending machine.
Eat before you get too hungry
If you forget to eat breakfast, by the time lunchtime rolls around you’re starving, light-headed, cranky, and ready to chow down on the fastest, most convenient thing – like fast food. Keep healthy snacks around so you’re never so hungry you’ll make bad choices. Along the same lines, don’t go to the grocery store hungry.
Enlist friends and family members’ help and support
Trying to lose weight is nothing to be ashamed of, and you’re more likely to make good choices if you’re with people who know you’re looking to improve your diet and take more exercise. Tell your family, friends and coworkers so that they don’t pressure you into getting a margarita when you order a seltzer with lime. It also really helps to do this with a partner.
Write it down
The golden rule – write down your progress. Keep a food diary. Log your progress automatically in a spreadsheet. Keep yourself accountable. And if you don’t have time to write everything, try taking pictures with your phone of every single thing you put into your mouth in a day, and count it all up at night.
Don’t ban your favorite foods for life
Let’s be honest: food is life. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite chocolate-covered pretzels forever and ever. What’s a life without chocolate, anyway? Moderation is the key. Give yourself a day of treats once a week, or how about every 5 pounds you lose. Remember, if you have to earn it, it tastes even better when you do.
Surround yourself with motivating images
Personally, I enjoy watching The Biggest Loser. In fact it is the only TV Show I watch on a regular basis because it’s so inspiring. Other people I know will buy fitness magazines and cover their wall with photos of athletes. Even a movie like Rocky Balboa can inspire people to start exercising. Make fitness and healthy eating a way of life, and surround yourself with reinforcement.