John McGran, chief editor at Diet-to-Go, has been covering the fields of diet, fitness and health since 2000. He writes from the perspective of a dieter rather than a dietitian.
Starting a diet is easy. Heck, I’ve started at least two dozen diets over the past 30 years. You want tough? Try sticking to a diet through thick and thin! Oh, I seeâ€¦ you have tried sticking to a diet.
There are many reasons we fall off the diet wagon. I think the biggest reason has to be a lack of perceived progress. It could be a stuck scale needle or a dress or pants size that refuses to drop.
So here we are. It’s early in the New Year and we’re determined to make this the last diet we’ll ever need. So far, so goodâ€¦ right?
Consider these doable tips as belated holiday gifts from your pal Mr. Bad Food, the Santa Claus of Slimming!
Find Time for Fitness
I knowâ€¦ I knowâ€¦ Life is busy and it takes time to work out. True, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to fit in some exercise on a regular basis.
We find time for our favorite TV shows so why can’t we find time for fitness? If you do it right, you can work out while you watch your show! Or if that isn’t possible, try rising a half hour earlier and working out before you head off to work or roust the kids for school.
A healthy diet is the best way to lose weight, but adding exercise to the mix gives you a weight-loss boost by burning extra calories and pumping up your metabolism!
Make it a New Year’s Revolution!
Resolve to make 2011 the year that you break out of the negative thinking that leads you to bemoan “oh, it’s so hard to diet” or “I hate to diet!” Instead, release your inner intellectual power to choose to behave in a way that leads to a healthier weight. Revolt against your usual “I can’t” comments and replace them with “I can!” Rebel against the huge portions in restaurants, resign from the clean plate club, seek out more fruits and vegetables, and get active every day.
Retrain Your Brain
Your brain is a muscle, so work it out every day. Rethink the meaning of the word “diet.” A diet is simply the way you eat; it’s not about deprivation and itâ€™s not something you start and stop. Throw out the old way of thinking, “Oh, I have to go on a diet and lose weight!” Instead, tell yourself “My diet allows me to enjoy my food, and leaves room for the occasional treat.”
Sleep it Off
Studies show that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep nightly are more likely to struggle with weight. Sorry, but you can’t make up for lost sleep by sleeping in later on the weekends. By making eight hours of sleep a priority, you’ll gain time for healthy living. Make a vow right now to turn off the cable TV and hit the hay no later than 11 p.m. Good sleep rejuvenates and re-energizes.
Savvy business people know that any project worth doing needs a plan of action. For your weight-loss resolution to work, think Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic Timetable.
For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say “I will lose two pounds a week and 50 pounds by next January 1!” Make that goal doable by meeting with a registered dietitian, creating a personalized plan to eat better, and by clipping on the pedometer and working your way up to 10,000 daily steps.
Measure your progress online or in a journal you keep by your bed. Review your progress regularly and revamp as needed to stay the course.
Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Swear off ground beef entirely and resolve to eating less saturated fat and cholesterol overall. When you eat more plant-based meals you increase your fiber and phytonutrients â€“ and that helps lower your risk for heart disease. Replace the ground meat with canned salmon and sardines and youâ€™ll boost your intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Another quick tip for better nutrition: Add a quarter-cup of nutrient-dense chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans to your salads and casseroles.
For more helpful insight from Diet-to-Go Chief Editor John McGran, check out these articles:
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January 18th, 2011