New Year is the time when most people set resolutions. Weight loss often tops the list of our New Year’s resolutions. However, it’s a fact that most people quickly lose interest and don’t take the necessary steps to succeed with their resolution. If have resolved to lose weight, it is important that you set realistic goals, stay on track and remain motivated. To succeed with your weight loss plan, make healthier food choices and exercise more. Discussed below is a list of top strategies to help you achieve weight loss goal–
- Begin small – Making a quick change in lifestyle and eating habits is a very difficult thing to do. Don’t set goals that are difficult to reach. Be realistic in setting goals and always begin with the easiest step. Remember the first step is the most important. So, take your time and set small achievable goals like closing down your kitchen by 9 pm or walking for every half an hour of sitting, or even something like eating two fresh fruits a day. It is important to learn what you must change and make a start.
- Avoid quick weight-loss schemes – While making weight loss resolutions, people tend to turn to quick fixes that may not be right for them. Eating fewer than 800 calories a day may reduce pounds quickly. But when you return to more normal eating patterns, your metabolism will slow down and weight will creep back. Extreme diets can cause irritability, light-headedness and constant hunger. So, start with one small change and build healthy eating and activity habits from there.
- Watch your portions – Watching or reducing portions is an important aspect in the weight loss journey. This, however, depends on individual activity levels, age, sex, and health goals. Even the healthiest food can add extra pounds if you eat too much of it or more than the amount the body needs. Often, packaged foods have more amount of servings and calorie content than you expect. Check the nutrition facts label for information about serving sizes and calories and consider whether you really need more than one serving. Also, use the label to help make healthier choices about intake of fat, sugar and salt.
- Eat slowly – It is said that the body takes about 20 minutes to send the “I’m full” signal to the brain. When you eat quickly, you tend to eat more. Eat carefully, slowly chewing every bite several times. One study found that participants consumed about 12 percent fewer calories when they chewed each bite 40 times than when they chewed 15 times (www.nbcnews.com). By chewing your food for more time, you can cut calorie intake and also enjoy the taste, smell and texture of the food.
- Drink water before you eat – Water can help curb your appetite. One study found that overweight individuals who drank two cups of water before every meal tend to lose more weight than those who did not. People often mistake thirst for hunger, and choose a snack when a glass of water is really all they need. Add small splash of fruit juice or squeeze of lemon to water for flavor.
- Exercise daily – Incorporating a balanced and healthy diet with regular physical activity can help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Activities like walking, swimming or hiking are great options. Mark your activity on your calendar so that you don’t make excuses about not having time to exercise. Keep in mind that moderate and consistent exercise every day is a better option than trying to be a weekend warrior and risk injury.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be challenging. The above tips can help you go forward in your weight loss journey this New Year. Results will take time, so be patient.