If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, I really believe you can… because I’ve been there! Instead of jumping into a new diet, take some time to prepare and set yourself up to be more successful. Ask yourself why your diet or exercise plan didn’t work last year. The most important thing to remember is that any change must be sustainable.
To be perfectly honest, I struggled with my weight as a teenager and always blamed it on my lack of height since I am only 5’1”. As a senior in high school, I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. There was no diet I didn’t try no matter how unrealistic it seemed. After many failed weight loss attempts, I wanted to throw in the towel. Looking back, I know why each one failed. What I failed to realize was the lack of preparation and accountability at home.
You can’t cut calories if your family likes to keep brownies sitting on the counter. It was just a part of my home environment that I didn't notice. Oh, and not to mention my LOVE of sweets and thinking I could be successful with a diet that removed all food pleasures. From what I’ve learned on my personal weight loss journey and with my knowledge as a registered dietitian, I want to help you prepare to be successful at making a true lifestyle change this year.
Let’s set some ground rules for this year’s resolution:
|Go on a "Diet"||Set realistic goals|
|Cut out any certain food groups||Eat a wide variety of foods|
|Tell yourself you'll never eat sweets again||Enjoy each meal|
Tips to prepare for the best year yet:
- Accountability - Let the people you live with know that you want to make changes. Ask them to be supportive and let them know how they can help.
- Clean Kitchen - Don’t buy the junk and bring it in the house. If it is not in your house, you will be less likely to eat it.
- Mindful Shopping - Find healthy recipes you like and make a grocery list based off them. Eat a snack before you go to the grocery store so you don’t grab the donuts randomly placed down aisles.
- Food Prep - Choose a day to cook a meal or two. Go ahead and pack leftovers to take for your lunches. Pre-cut fresh fruit and veggies make it easier to grab a healthy snack. Portion out foods into individual snack bags. Eating healthy is more convenient when it’s “grab-n-go.”
- Enjoy life - Don’t be afraid to go out to eat, enjoy a cupcake and celebrate your birthday. Make sure your life doesn’t revolve around what you “can’t” have. If you stay in-tune with your body by paying attention to your hunger cues, you can enjoy food and stay on track. If you slip back into old eating habits, learn from it and get moving again. It can help you to discover what foods set your appetite over the top, and you can be more prepared next time.
These are things I’ve done, and still do, to maintain my weight loss, especially Tip #5! The hardest part is not giving up. Make sure you really do want to make a lifestyle change, not just drop 15 pounds to fit into smaller pants for a special occasion. So, go ahead and toss the holiday leftovers. Live the best year yet, and next year your resolution can be to maintain your lifestyle change! Happy New Year!