Every New Years Eve, you resolve to get healthy, drop the pounds, and exercise more – but after a week or two, you haven’t lost much except your willpower. Studies show us that traditional calorie-restricting diets fail more than they succeed. Rather than taking an-all-or-nothing route to a healthier you, try making small lifestyle changes – you may be amazed by the results. Here’s a few tips to help you get started.
Gear down on high-fat foods
This strategy is easier said than done – but cutting back a bit at a time will keep your weight loss goals achievable and obtainable. Start by recording the number of high-fat choices you make in a week. Then, replace one item per week with a healthy alternative. In week one, replace potato chips with oranges or apples. In week two, replace cookies with crisp baby carrots or a handful of grapes. Your daily calorie count will decrease faster than you think!
Walk with a pedometer
A must-have accessory, a pedometer is a lightweight, portable device which counts every step you take. It takes 2500 steps to walk a mile, a task which burns approximately 100 calories. By tracking your total steps, you can set daily or weekly goals to keep yourself interested and on track. Which leads to…
Taking a few extra minutes
Begin by committing to a half-hour worth of physical activity per day. Gradually, add a few minutes to each day’s exercise – it’s not as hard as you think! Next time you’re talking on the phone, walk in place rather than sitting. Park at the far end of the mall, and take a long stroll to your favorite stores. During your lunch hour, take a few minutes and walk around the block a few times. Soon you’ll be doing plenty of exercise without thinking about it.
Mini-strength training routines
It only takes 60 to 90 seconds to fatigue your muscles, so squeeze mini-resistance workouts into your day whenever you can. While waiting on the kitchen timer for dinner, do crunches, squats or against-the-counter pushups. Start with 10 repetitions, then gradually increase your reps to fully fatigue your muscle group.
Keep a food journal
We all know that reducing portions helps cut calories, but it’s tough to say no to a decadent dessert. One of the most powerful tools in your weight loss arsenal is the pen! Keeping a food diary allows us see an overview of our eating habits. Along with the date and time, jot down the quantities of everything you eat – as well as your mood. This will help reveal detrimental eating habits you may not be aware of. Touch base with a loved one or homecare provider, and have them oversee your progress. Having another person keep track of your efforts is a great way to stay committed to losing weight.
Written by Alice Lucette
Image by einstein of stock.xchng