With New Year’s resolutions nearing, and the end of the holiday season upon us, many of us will be deciding to shed some of our excess pounds for 2011. Most of us make this task too difficult, resulting in early abandonment of the goal, and subsequent guilt and disappointment in ourselves. The CDC reported that in 2009, 26.7% of adult Americans were obese, defined by having a BMI of greater than 30. The diet and weight loss industry in America was estimated by Marketdata to reach over 68 billion dollars in 2010, and involve 72 million dieters. Most of us are looking for that “magic formula” that will instantly help us shed the pounds and help us to reach that goal. Below I have outlined some simple things that I did to lose 30 lbs in less than a year.
Commit to be Fit
Exercise everyday. That’s it. You need to do something you enjoy, and that you will do everyday. I was going to a gym, but hated getting up, bringing clothes, driving to the gym, using their shower, and then going to work. It was enough to get me to pull the covers back over my head. When I lost weight, I purchased a bike trainer for my outside bicycle, set it up in front of the TV, and every morning I get on the bike and ride. Some mornings I have more time, so I can get a good 45 min to an hour, other mornings, I may only ride 10 minutes. The minutes and calories burned add up. You may walk outside, use a treadmill, or use a gym facility near your home or work. But, you need to commit to doing it daily.
Reduce Your Portions
Eat less. Simple, isn’t it? Eat on a smaller plate, or split a meal with someone else. My fiancé and I always split our meals at restaurants, and often still need to take some home. If we grill a steak, I may eat 3-4 oz to his 5-6 oz. This dramatically cuts our food bills as well. We eat salads with almost every dinner, and that side salad from the restaurant is also split, as it is enough for two. I don’t have “bad” foods. I eat bread, meat, pasta, and even desserts. I just eat less.
Eat a High Quality Breakfast
Every morning I eat about 2/3 cup of 0% fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of high fiber granola or sliced almonds on top. Greek yogurt has 22 g of protein in a 110 g serving. I also eat a few handfuls of raw almonds throughout the day, which have no carbohydrates and are also high in protein, keeping blood sugar levels steady during the day which prevents overeating.
Track your Weight
I used to be afraid of the scale, attributing daily fluctuations to personal weakness. Standing on the scale weekly while you are trying to lose weight can help keep you honest and help you maintain your goal weight once you have achieved it.
This is the most important tip of all. If you are unhappy, you will find more reasons not to exercise or to eat too much. You need to find happiness, true happiness in yourself, your loved ones and your life. If you are unhappy, you need to really examine what is going on in your life and change it. Do things you enjoy, with people that also enjoy them. Laugh… a lot. Express gratitude for your blessings and everything around you. Surround yourself by others who prop you up, and don’t push you down.
With these simple tips, here’s hoping that your New Year’s resolution to lose weight is a success!