New Year’s Resolutions are easier said than done, especially when it comes to weight loss. Life can simply get in the way of attaining your goals to get healthy and fit (despite the best of intentions)! No fear, there are plenty of ways to avoid the common pitfalls that tend to get in your way. Here are 5 simple diet and lifestyle tips to help you lose weight in 2015.
- Hold off hunger with lean, healthy protein – a higher protein diet helps promote “satiety” or feelings of fullness and satisfaction. So enjoy a serving of protein-rich foods (e.g. low-fat milk or yogurt, organic tofu, beans, and chicken breast) at meal and snack times. You’ll curb hunger pangs and eat less throughout the day.
- Take baby steps to permanent behavior change – “I should exercise every day”, “ I should eat less fast food”, “ I should eat more vegetables”. It’s time to set aside ALL the “shoulds” and just pick ONE eating or exercise behavior you’d like to improve upon. Biting off more than you can chew can set you up for failure (no pun intended), so take one small step towards a healthier you. Once you’ve successfully changed one behavior, start on a new one.
- Strengthen your psyche with a strong support team– maybe you don’t want others to know you’re trying to lose weight or perhaps you’re used to doing things on your own. Well when it comes to successful weight loss – the more the merrier. Study after study has shown that having a strong social support system is a predictor of weight loss success. So don’t go it alone – find a diet or gym buddy, ask for support from you friends, coworkers, partner or spouse or join a small group weight loss program where you can get support from others but still get the individual attention you deserve.
- Track your success- if you don’t measure it, its harder to see the positive changes you’re making. So keep a food diary, use a diet and exercise app, buy a Fitbit or some other wearable tracking device and step on the scale once a week to check your weight loss progress. Keeping track is the best way to reinforce the positive steps you’ve taken and motivate you to keep going.
- Mind your mindfulness – Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Practicing mindful eating by using all your senses to choose the food to eat that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body. Eat without judgment and pay close attention to your body’s natural signs for hunger and satiety. You’ll get more joy from eating and it can change your relationship with food for the better.