I have heard a lot of people that have made the New Years Resolution to “lose weight”. And when asked how they plan on doing it, the answer is always “working out more” or “eat better”, which I totally think are great ideas, but if you make the same resolution every year, something isn’t working, right? First, we have to make sure that you are making the choice for yourself….then you know you won’t cheat, and the only person to benefit is you and your health! Second, it to actually make those healthy lifestyle choices and stick to them. But, where to begin……
Where do I start?
One huge impact that you can have, as far as eating better, is keeping a food journal. So many of us, unknowingly, deceive ourselves about how much we eat and when we eat. We don’t do it on purpose, but unless you ate some huge portion of something bad for you, most people kind of gloss over little snacks that they eat, a handful of candy from a candy bowl they might walk by, or even an afternoon soda that you might forget about drinking. All of those little snacks and foods, anything other than water, are added calories to your day. The trick is, don’t CHEAT!!
How Does the food journal help?
You can track exactly what you eat and when (without cheating or trying to be healthy- honestly write down what you eat for a few days to a week). So, you can trend when you reach for sugary or salty snacks, and learn exactly how much you are eating. You can actually look up the calories in each afternoon snack, as see how many empty calories that you are ingesting. Empty calories are calories from foods with little to no nutritional value, like candy, and don’t trick yourself that you should eat a candy bar because it may have a couple of peanuts in it, that is not enough protein vs fat and calories to be healthy for you! But we can see what you normally tend to eat, and what your body reaches for, and fit in a healthy snack instead. So, in light of the afternoon candy bar, why not choose dark chocolate covered dried fruit OR some homemade trail mix with dark chocolate chunks….and make sure to only eat ONE serving size. And, ideally, you can control what/how you eat by preparing your own meals, or just learning the calorie content of what you do eat, and start making choices with lean protein choices (chicken, turkey, shrimp) and limit sauces. You aren’t stuck eating salads all the time, you can eat whole grains (even in the form of breads!), and have a healthy diet with carbohydrates and proteins. Just try to eat protein with every carb. As long as you now what you eat at baseline, you can start to make adjustments, and once you start to eat healthier, you will feel better, because you are making positive choices to be healthier for no one other than you!!
Once you get on track with healthier food choices, you can also track what exercise you get and how many calories you burn. So once we know exactly how much you eat, and start making our own snacks and food, or start consciously making healthy choices, you can see your progress on paper (or electronically) and track all of the healthy choices you’ve made. Your body and waistline will see progress, but if you SEE the progress you have made before your pants feel looser, you will be more apt to stick with your healthy choices. PLUS, you will feel good about knowing all of the healthy lifestyle changes you have made and you will keep at it….and not feel guilty for one random cheat day 🙂
Yours In Good Health