Does your New Year’s Resolution involve losing weight or eating healthier? If so, this is probably not the first time you have made that resolution. While losing weight can be hard enough, keeping it off long-term is where many people stumble. So how do you make this year the year that you finally lose the weight and keep it off for good? Here are some tips to start:
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight cannot be achieved by dieting.
I know, this sounds impossible, right? But whenever you follow a diet plan to lose weight, one day you will be off of that plan. No matter which way you choose to lose weight, if you go back to your usual eating habits you will regain the weight, often more than you started with. Losing weight for good means developing new, healthy habits. It is the choices we make every day that lead to success, rather than any drastic diet plan.
Have a good support system.
No one can do anything alone. Support can come from many different places – family, friends, support groups, trainers, nutritionists, wherever you find people who have your best interests at heart. If you know other people who are also trying to get healthy, form an exercise or healthy cooking group. Go online to find like-minded people – Meetup.com can be a great place to find exercise or weight loss groups in your area.
Get enough sleep.
While this may not seem as though it has anything to do with nutrition, not getting enough sleep can make it difficult or impossible to lose weight. When we are tired, our bodies still need energy and we crave foods high in fat, sugar and starch. This leads to overeating of unhealthy food. Try going to bed just an hour earlier, it may help get cravings under control.
Watch your portions!
Even if you don’t make any other changes in your diet, simply reducing the size of your portions can make a big difference in cutting calories, fat, etc. When you go to a restaurant, divide your meal in half and box it up before you start eating. This way, you are not tempted to overeat. When you are at home, use a smaller plate or bowl to help control portion sizes. Also, when you have a full plate, even if it is a small plate, you are more likely to feel full after eating. If you are not sure how big your portions should be, this WebMD guide is a good place to start.
Starting with small changes, finding a support system, getting some rest and starting to pay more attention to portion sizes is a great place to start to make healthy changes in the New Year. And of course, working with a Nourish Registered Dietitian who can give you a personalized plan makes it much more likely you will stick with healthy changes!