January is already on its way out the door, and so are most New Year resolutions’ to lose weight, eat healthier, and start exercising regularly.
If a diet plan requires expensive supplements, severe calorie restriction, or complete elimination of foods you love, how successful will you be in the long-term? How long can you sustain that lifestyle? Stop setting yourself up for failure!
Choosing a restrictive diet will likely result in weight loss, but the results will only be temporary and likely be followed by weight gain. Often times you will gain more weight than you lost. Why not work on creating better lifestyle habits that will result in true, long-term weight loss?
If you want to salvage your New Year resolutions you can start by ditching the fad diets and start focusing on lifestyle changes. If you focus on making a few small behavior modifications you can create habits that can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle and permanent weight loss.
Below are five habits to lead you to a healthier lifestyle. If starting these all at once seems too overwhelming, I recommend focusing on mastering one habit a week for the next five weeks! By finding ways to incorporate these into your daily routine you will be setting yourself up for success!
1. Get Moving!
It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Do not let that number scare you! It breaks down to only 30 minutes a day for 5 days. You can find 30 minutes for yourself! Packing your lunch and walking during your lunch hour is a great way to get in your thirty minutes and can help break up the work day!
Need help getting started?
Group exercise classes keep you motivated and offer great support!
*Note: Consult your physician before starting a new exercise regimen.
2. Drink water!
Seems simple, right? By choosing to drink water over sugary drinks, you are cutting unnecessary calories out of your diet. Being properly hydrated can also help prevent mistaking thirst for hunger. Adults need at least 9-13 8 oz cups of water a day. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning and before every meal is a great way to help keep you on track!
Not a big fan of drinking water?
Try using fresh fruit and herbs to
infuse your water with tons of flavor!
3. Know Your Numbers!
How can you eat healthy if do not know what foods, which food groups, and how much of these foods you should be eating? Knowing the number of servings you should be consuming on a daily basis can help you plan your meals and snacks. If you are focusing on hitting your numbers, you will be making better food choices. ChooseMyPlate.gov has a daily checklist already customized to fit your calorie needs!
An example of Food Group Amounts for an 1800 Calories a day plan.
*Find the recommendations for your calorie range at the link below:
4. Portion Control!
Your portions are most likely more than the actual serving sizes for the foods that you are eating. The good news, you can fix this! Reading food labels and using the daily checklist can help you better understand what an actual serving is. A small digital food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons can help you better understand how to build your plate.
Still feel hungry?
Wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds, it takes our stomachs time to signal the brain that we are full!
5. Hold Yourself Accountable!
Writing down or using a food tracking app are great ways to help control the number of calories you are eating every day. Food diaries are useful in determining your daily eating patterns. They can help identify behaviors that lead to overeating, for example, regularly skipping breakfast may lead to overeating or poor food choices at lunch.
Think before you eat!
Keeping a daily food log helps you think about what you are going to eat, before you eat it, not after!
These 5 habits can help create a healthier lifestyle. By finding ways to incorporate these into your daily routine you will set yourself up for long-term success!
Remember it’s about finding your balance. It’s about Sustainable Nutrition.
Sarah Osborn RDN