Kickstarting Your Weight Loss Resolution
Thinking about losing weight for your New Year’s resolution? If you’ve decided this is the year for a healthier you, be proud. It takes a true commitment to make healthy lifestyle changes. Losing weight not only helps you control or reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but it also helps you live longer, gives you more energy and makes you feel better about yourself.
Here are 10 tips to kickstart your journey to a healthier you.
1. Focus on lifestyle changes and avoid fad diets. You need to learn how to eat healthy, rather than following a crazy diet for a month. If a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Be realistic. If it took you longer than a week to gain the weight, it will likely take you longer than a week to lose it. And keep in mind, muscle weighs more than fat, so the number on the scale doesn’t necessarily track your progress.
3. Set goals. This is an important step to get you to where you want to be. Choose goals that are achievable and specific. Focus on making gradual changes to meet your goals and keep them.
4. Eat three meals per day. Studies have shown people who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat breakfast. Eating three balanced meals per day helps fuel your metabolism.
5. Don’t drink your calories. Cutting out sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, is a small change that could greatly decrease your total calorie intake. Instead, drink plenty of water. You could add a lemon or other fruit to your water for more flavor.
6. Keep a food journal and watch your portion sizes. Apps and websites are great tools to help with diet compliance. Sometimes you don’t really know how much you are eating until you measure it out and look up the nutrition facts.
7. Eat mindfully. Pay attention to why you are eating. Are you actually hungry, or are you just bored? Practice mindful eating by avoiding eating in front of the television and slowing down when you eat.
8. Plan ahead. If you don’t, you might choose foods that are quick, convenient, and generally, unhealthy. Take one day to make dinner for the entire week and prepare your lunch the night before.
9. Ask the expert. Consult a dietitian to answer your questions or to provide a personalized plan for your weight loss journey. Go online to www.eatright.org/find-an-expert to find a dietitian near you, or call your local hospital and ask to speak with their dietitian.
10. Reward yourself. Instead of food as a reward, treat yourself to something that motivates you to meet your monthly goals. This could be a new outfit, a massage or something else that helps you stick to your weight loss resolution.
Kaylan Goldstein, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian for Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.