Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Five tips for keeping your weight loss resolutions

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 @ 09:53 AM

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If you've jotted down "lose weight" as your New Year's resolution, you're in good company. While it's said to be the most popular resolution, it's also one of the least successful. But there are a few ways to stay on track in the new year.

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Losing weight is hard to do, but a few adjustments can help keep you committed for the long haul.

First step, recognize that losing weight is a lifestyle, not a diet, says 20-year-veteran clinical nutrition expert Shaynee Roper, LD, RD, of Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. "A lot of people set goals and are really gung-ho in January and February, but then their energy fades because they're not making a lifestyle change."

If you have more than just a few kilos to lose, there isn't a quick fix, and you'll need to stay on task for six to 12 months, or even more, she says.

Roper's top five tips:

1. Set small goals. Opt to lose a half a kilo a week or about two kilos a month. Start cutting out junk food, empty calories, fried foods, and sweets.
2. Jot down everything you eat and drink for two weeks. A food journal can offer clues to your daily habits and pitfalls and help you make decisions about what to eliminate, reduce, and add.

3. Identity your trigger foods. If you know you are likely to gorge on salty snacks or chocolate, keep tempting treats out of reach.

4. Find an eating replacement. Exercise, read a book, or ride a bike rather than snacking. Learn to listen to your body's clues about hunger versus boredom, for example. Exercising 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, is recommended.

5. Reward yourself. When you achieve a goal you've set for yourself, splurge on a pair of shoes or some other non-food treat.

"When eliminating or reducing certain foods from your diet, pick one or two to start," Roper advises. "Work on these for two weeks before adding more." While it may feel like a slow process, it's a lifestyle change. "Doing it slowly will help you stick with it and make you feel like you're not giving up everything all at once." 

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