New Year’s Eve is often the time of year when dieting and weight loss resolutions top the list for many people. The long holiday season between Halloween and New Year’s Eve is often a time when pounds are added. Then it’s time for weight loss resolutions. In 2010, the weight loss and diet resolutions I made may have been a bit ambitious. Maybe a little too much egg nog and holiday cheer added to the optimism. After a year of hits and misses with weight loss and diet resolutions, I finally figured out what works.
Find Exercises that Work for You
I am not a gym person. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way, after a few attempts, noble ambitions, and a few hundred dollars later I realized that going to the gym regularly does not fit with my sometimes chaotic schedule. Gym memberships are a great way for most people to get regular exercise in, but in general, a full membership didn’t work for me. Be sure you are ready for the commitment and can maintain the effort of utilizing a membership.
What did work was keeping up with my favorite exercises, mainly walking and dancing. Throw in a few hand weights to lift in between computer time, and my fitness level goes up with little effort. The twice a week pilates class at the local high school was also helpful for keeping up a fitness routine. The most important tip is to find exercises that you enjoy and can follow through on.
Forget the Diet Products
Anything with diet in the title, especially diet soda, has a better option. Water is the dieter’s best friend and I quickly learned that the 6-8 glasses a day really did help keep me hydrated. Instead of diet soda, choose water for the maximum benefits. If taste is an issue, grab some flavored low-cal waters by the case.
The other diet products such as those with “lose weight fast promises”, are often just a quick fix, but not a lasting one. Nutritional supplement bars and low cal prepared meals are a better choice. The best choice of all, however, is to make your own meals and snacks, choosing a variety of healthy foods.
Size Matters More than Weight
I honestly don’t know what I weigh at this moment. I stopped using a scale awhile ago. I measure my success now by how my clothes fit and how I look overall. The numbers on a scale can be terrifying at times and may actually impede weight loss. Sure it feels good to know you’ve lost 3 pounds, but not everyone looks the same at the same weight. Take an inventory of both assets and areas to work on and focus on the combination of weight loss and toning as a goal instead of using only a scale to measure progress. If your clothes are tight, set a goal to get comfortably back to size over the next few months. Slow progress really does work.
Portion Control and Good Eating
There are a few key dieting tips to note regarding portion control and healthy eating. The first tip is to eat slow. Slow down at meals and drink plenty of water with each meal. The slower you eat, the less likely you will overeat. Start with smaller portions than normal and simply add more to the plate if you are still hungry.
The second factor which has helped with dieting and weight loss is one of the most obvious, mainly ditch the junk food. Not later. Now. If it’s in the cupboard and has no nutritional value, it will only work against weight loss.
Good eating is key to lasting weight loss more than any other factor. It’s hard to maintain a restrictive diet over time but using portion control and treating high calorie desserts and snacks as an occasional indulgence will go a long way to maintaing weight loss. Eating patterns and habits are often either a help or hindrance to weight loss and keeping a healthy weight.
Resolutions are a great way to start the new year, especially diet and weight loss resolutions that can improve your health and fitness. It is doubtful that you will succeed exactly as much as you planned, however, Sure it’s nice to imagine fitting back into your prom dress, but realistically most people aren’t meant to past 30. Realistic goals are the key. My goal at the start of last year was to improve my fitness, walk more, dance more, and cut down on unhealthy eating habits. The ultimate result was that I did lose a few pounds, toned up more, and felt better. Little changes made the difference and there was no rollercoaster ride with any type of starvation diet or over-the-counter diet aids which both tend to fail miserably for permanent weight loss.
On a final note, it’s fine to forget your diet and weight loss resolutions at times. I did on occassion. The little successes over time are what make the difference and ultimately result in a healthier lifestyle.