Do you feel as if another year has gone by and you still have not met your health and weight loss goals? Many of us tend to make the same resolutions every year in January, and by spring we are bored, frustrated and back to our old patterns.
Here are some tips to get out of the all-or-nothing mentality and into the mode of setting lifestyle goals that you can actually stick with.
- Set SMART goals. Set goals that are “smart” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound). Also, break up bigger goals into smaller goals.
- Practice portion control. Watching your portion sizes is the single best way to lose weight and keep it off, while still having the freedom to eat all of your favorite foods.
- Keep a food diary for a while. Try keeping a food diary -- even for just a month -- to identify your problem areas. Try to be mindful of what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, and if you eat because you are truly hungry or for some other reason like boredom or stress.
- Make small changes. Focus on one behavior change at a time. You are most likely to stick with it if you set a small goal.
- Variety is key. Try eating an assortment of fruits and vegetables and vary them by color. Salads are great for this!
Take those healthy meals to work instead of eating out!
- Indulge in your favorite "cheat" meal/snack/treat every now and then. By allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite high-calorie foods occasionally, you will feel less deprived. So give in to your cravings but try not to overdo it.
- Be active. The list of benefits you get from physical activity is endless. Find an activity you enjoy and stick with it. Start with two to three times a week.
- Nix diets. Forget fad diets that call for you to combine certain foods or to focus on a single food. You are most likely to succeed if you eat foods from all food groups and develop a healthy lifestyle.
- Get enough sleep. We usually make less healthy food decisions when we’re tired. Aim for six to eight hours of sleep per night. Unplug the technology and go to bed.