We all do it every year – we make resolutions that we really mean to keep, we feel so motivated to follow through, and then we abandon them a few days or, if we’re lucky, a few weeks later. Often the reason we can’t stick to our resolutions is because our goals are too vague (“I will lose weight,” “I will eat healthier,” or “I will exercise,” for example). Other resolutions are too unrealistic (“I will lose 50 pounds by Valentine’s,” “I will cut out all junk food”). Without a lot of support, it is hard to stick to the best of intentions when those around us have significantly different ideas and unwittingly sabotage our resolutions to become healthier, fitter, and ultimately happier.
Our Top 10 Resolutions That Will Make A Difference are concrete and manageable. You will not have to wake up two hours earlier every day to train for an Ironman competition or nibble on nothing but rabbit food. You can fit these healthy changes into your current lifestyle and not cause misery to yourself and those around you by trying to do too much too soon.
10) Drink water-We are made up of two-thirds water. Why not replenish and nourish our bodies with the Real Stuff? If people tell me “They don’t like the taste of water,” I tell them that is just an excuse because water has no taste (unless it’s coming from a rusty pipe, of course!). If people ask me for suggestions on the best “flavored water,” I ask them why they feel the need for the extra chemicals.
For me the best flavored water is purified water with a squeeze of lemon. You can also chill water with cucumber slices for a refreshing and chemical-free drink.
9) Give up Diet Sodas-”What’s wrong with diet sodas? They don’t have any calories!” I hear this all of the time from patients. First, even with zero calories, do you really need all of the artificial chemicals in your body? Secondly, studies suggest that diet sodas are more often consumed by overweight people than normal weight people-what does that tell us? Research shows that exposure to the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas increases your taste preference for sweeter foods. This means that if you drink diet sodas, you make it harder on yourself to give up sweets because your taste buds now need even sweeter foods to satisfy them!
8) Give up all bread (and pasta)–This is a simpler way of saying, “Eliminate all highly processed white flour from your diet.” When people ask me what they can do to lose weight other than the obvious (giving up sweets and sodas), I tell them, “It’s simple, just give up bread-in all of its forms.” This means don’t eat breadsticks, don’t slop up the gravy with the biscuit, don’t eat the hamburger or hot dog bun, don’t eat the pizza crust, don’t order the “bottomless pasta dish”, no tortilla chips, no nachos, no toast. You name it-if it comes from processed flour, avoid it like the plague.
7) Eat a variety of color-Unfortunately, when you look at the plate of a typical overweight person, you will notice the predominance of one color-yellow, usually in various shades, like beige or tan. In other words, the color of FAT. Isn’t it ironic that while many people struggle with their weight, the food they eat is the color of the substance they are trying to avoid? Start by adding one item of food that has a different color, like broccoli, then go from there. But don’t fool yourself. If you get broccoli, but then cover it with cheese sauce, you’ve just turned your green food back into (you guessed it) yellow goo! Eating a variety of colors is also a good way to ensure that you are getting better nutrition and consuming fewer calories.
6) Use your cell phone to take a picture of everything you eat-This is a tip from Dr. Terry Simpson from Arizona. Take a picture of everything you eat and drink throughout the day. At the end of the day, print out your photos and arrange them in front of you on the table. Now, there is no way to fool yourself about what you have (or have not) eaten! After you do this for a few days, you may find that there are certain times you eat more (during late-night television) or places that encourage you to overindulge (perhaps a certain restaurant). Knowing what your triggers are will help you plan to avoid them.
5) Read one book on healthier living, like: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser or What to Eat by Marion Nestle
-It’s like what G.I.Joe said at the end of every cartoon: “Now you know, and KNOWING is half the battle!” It is crucial to become more informed about nutrition-just be sure to seek real information, not just fad diets or scams or cheats. Anything that claims it will revolutionize your life, create a whole new you, allow you to lose half your body size in a couple of months, or anything else that sounds far-fetched is not the kind of reliable, scientific, well-researched information that will help you in the long-run.
4) Give up on diets-Why “Die-it” when you can “Live-it”? Where has dieting gotten you all of these years? It’s time to do something different. Start by rethinking yourself and your self-worth. Understand what a valuable person you are and recognize how you deserve a better life! How much has the world missed out on because you are not fully participating in life? It’s time for you to get back out there and Live It!
3) Make small changes that add up-It doesn’t make any sense to write a lofty goal like “I want to win the Boston Marathon” when you don’t even own a pair of running shoes. It’s the small changes that we can stick to (not the grand schemes) that are sustainable, and it’s these small changes that will eventually add up to the big change that you are after. So start small and build up momentum. In case you can’t think of any, here are a few to get you started: take the stairs instead of the elevator, make time for 3 ten-minute walks that add up to your 30-minutes-a-day workout, use the next smaller sized plates (not the smallest), add one new good food to your regular shopping list BEFORE you take away an old bad food.
2) Think about how what you consume makes you feel-I know this sounds all New Age Touchy-Feely and such, but it is just true. You have to understand what role food is playing in your life, how it is comforting, why it helps you to relax, what pain it is relieving, what issue it is covering up that you are not wanting to face. This is often the most frightening step to becoming healthier-baring your soul so that you can examine it, for all of its faults, but also for all of its wonders!
1) Write down your goals-This is the key to success in any and all endeavors, not just weight loss. Your goals and desires take on a whole new life and meaning when you commit them down on paper. Remember to put your List of Goals some place where you can read it everyday, so that they will take hold in your subconscious. Be specific (“I will walk for 30 minutes 3 days per week” instead of “I will exercise”) and be true to who you are (if you hate going to the gym, do not waste money on a new gym membership).
Of course, reading through the resolutions is the easy part, but reading is not the most important step. The most important step is to DO! These should not be difficult to fit into your daily life. Select a few or all of these resolutions and slowly incorporate them into your routine. And never, ever feel that if one day you eat a plate of pasta with diet soda and then go through a big chocolate bar while lying on the couch that you have failed! Everybody falls off the wagon sometimes. The important question is “What are you going to do from that point forward?”
It’s the patterns of behavior that affect our health the most. If on most days you drink water, walk for 30 minutes, and eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but occasionally slip up, you will be much healthier than someone who goes to the gym for two hours and avoids all fat but only keeps it up for a week.
If you would like even more weight loss tips, visit www.LapBandTalk.com now!