Well here we are, into the year 2009. Did you survive the celebrations? I had a great night with my family and friends. The kids played around together and had a very late night.
Do you make resolutions for the new year? I never do, as I know I will never follow them through. But I do make lists of what I would like to achieve over the year. Many people I know (myself included) would like to lose weight this year. For many reasons, be it because they want to feel better, look better, be healthier and set better examples for their kids. Me, it is because I have put a small amount back on (and I mean small, only about 2kg) that is making my clothes a little snugger than I would like. I have a good starting point, as I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I find the program works really well for me unless I get sidetracked, as I have done lately.
So I have compiled a list of points that I find important in changing your lifestyle to eat healthier and get fitter. Losing weight is a good benefit of a healthier lifestyle. Do not say diet - a diet is not a lifestyle. It is deprivation and is not sustainable.
I hope all those losing weight can achieve their goals in 2009, I know how good it is. So here is the list. Long winded I know, but I try to make it so people don't feel that they don't understand. Though if you want more info, just leave a comment or email me, I don't mind explaining things more thoroughly.
Weight loss Tips
1. Water - try a drink a glass before each meal. When you are hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes before eating anything. If you have trouble drinking water, make it interesting by adding a squeeze of lemon juice or some diet cordial. And use a water bottle - carry it with you everywhere (I am practically glued to mine, I get anxious when I don't have it). It also means you aren't opening the fridge constantly.
2. Plan. Plan you meals, plan your exercise, plan your me time. You make appointments for everyone else, so do the same for yourself. You are just as important! Make up a menu plan for the week (or however often you like to shop). Write up a shopping list and stick to it. Not only will this help you buy healthier, and eat healthier, you impulse buy less too! Make a time to do your exercise - if it is in a schedule it is easier to follow through. Treat yourself to some time out. Whether it be a massage or just some me time to read a book, make sure you do it!
3. Tracking - everything that goes in your mouth, write down. Get a diary and start now. Don't wait until the end of the day to write it down, even the best memories can “forget” that biscuit. Everything!
4. Reward yourself. Don't wait for your main goal - you will get dis-spirited and give up. Work with little goals. Such as, after the first 1kg I will treat myself to a piece of lovely fabric. Then after the 3kg, have a facial (or something to your liking).
5. Stop and wait - when you are eating a meal, stop halfway, put down your knife and fork and wait. 20 minutes is ideal, but I hate my food going cold. So I wait about 1 minute and have a big drink of water. Then if still believe I am hungry, I will continue until I am halfway through that. There is nothing wrong with NOT cleaning your plate!
6. Weigh your food. Find out what the recommended daily intake size is and work with it.
7. Measure yourself. Once at the start and then every month. Measure your: neck, upper arm, chest, waist, abdomen, hips, upper leg and calf. Measurements are a good way to keep track even if you think you aren't losing weight. Sometimes you may be building muscle mass. Yet you are getting slimmer (and fitter).
8. Exercise - I know, bad word. Every little bit is a step forward. Do something you enjoy. Exercise with a friend - someone who will be there even if you don't want to do it, they will make you. Start with 5 minutes a day. Work up adding a little more each day or week (don't procrastinate). I find if I have something to distract me, I can exercise for longer and more efficiently. Right now I am riding the exercise bike to power my laptop as I write this. My heart rate is up, I am sweating, but because my mind is on this, I am quite ok about that (and I hate exercise!!)
9. Don't pick or clean plates. When you are cooking/preparing meals, don't pick! You won't know how much you have eaten, and you won't feel full. Have a snack of fruit or vegies before preparing if need be. When the meal is finished, do not feel tempted to clean your kids plates. Yes it does look wasteful, but better in the bin than making your waist full!
10. Swap your drinks. If you drink full strength Coke (or other soft drinks) swap to Zero or diet/sugar free. It will taste different to start with, but you get used to it really quickly. And limit yourself. If you only drink them, swap each other one with a glass of water.
11. Full fat to light - change your products that you use from full fat to light in fat. So skim milk, light cheese etc. They don't taste bad - and they are better for you. Just be wary of the 'lite'. Not always so in fat content. So read the labels.
12. Don't buy it. You don't need it, you only want it if it is there, so don't purchase it. This is hard to start with, you will pick up so much off the shelves when shopping, but put it back. If it isn't in the pantry/fridge/freezer, you can't eat it.
13. Smaller plates. Use smaller plates for your meals. If you don't have smaller plates, don't fill them to full. Then if you do want to eat everything, you can.
14. Don't skip meals. Very important. Especially breakfast. Skipping makes your body think it is being starved, therefore stores as much fat as it can get hold of when you next eat. See the problem?
15. Snack. Make sure you have snacks during the day between meals. It helps to keep your metabolism running properly. Snack on fruits, vegie sticks, rice cakes and low fat yoghurt. Stick to your serving sizes though.
16. Support. This is one of the biggest things you need. Get support from people. Husbands, friends, family etc. Exercise with kids or your husband. Go bike riding or walk to the park together. Try to stay away from negative people or people who try to derail your plan. You are doing this for you, not them.
17. Treats. Allow yourself some treats. Say once a week have a small bowl of low fat ice cream. Or a small chocolate bar. Don't deprive yourself, or there is a greater possibility that you will binge. If you can be good, have a square or two of dark chocolate each day. But write it down. I went for 2 years without having a Tim Tam when I started. Didn't miss them either. It is possible. Oh, and your alcohol has kilojoules (calories) too!
18. Moderation. The key to most things is moderation. If you exercise in excess you will get sore and then feel unable to do it the next day. If you eat in excess you will feel bloated and maybe angry at yourself and this might make you want to throw the towel. Keep things in moderation and it is much happier all round.
19. Believe in yourself. You can do this, you want to do this, and you will succeed. Whether it takes 6 months or 2 years (or more), it will be worth it in the end.
It isn't a diet that you want to be doing, it is a lifestyle change. You slowly change your lifestyle to create a way of eating, thinking and exercising that you can maintain (with the occasional slip up allowed). If you have a bad meal/day/week, start over with the next meal. Every meal is the chance for a new start.