It’s that time of year when we all turn over a new leaf and decide to lose those last stubborn kilos/pounds, exercise each day, quit smoking, give up alcohol, and become more healthy. In January, it’s a familiar mantra yet if done wisely can stay with you throughout the whole year.
Ditch the detoxes!
Forget silly, short lived detoxes. They promise rapid weight loss which is why they're attractive. Lower your expectations when it comes to weight. Plan for 1 kilo or 2 pounds of fat loss per week. Slow-and-steady is better than fast-and-unsustainable, which only sees you re-gain what you lost. Here are my 7 top resolutions for you:
1. Halve your portions
Think over how much you eat and what your ‘biggies’ are. If you like a large serve of meat or mash or dessert, these are the foods to halve - not the vegetables or salads. So:
- Don’t go back for seconds.
- If you can't finish what you've served out, then cover and store the rest for another meal.
2. Be wary of share plates
Share plates are a trap when out and make it hard to figure out precisely how much you’ve eaten.
Tip: Take charge of the ordering yourself so you know what is coming up and can fit in amounts accordingly to help with your goals. Or listen to your stomach and stop eating before getting too full! Another alternative is to just share an entrée and have your own main.
3. Eliminate the junk
Junk food or extras or treats are a big barrier to sustained weight loss. They are high in bad fats, added sugar and salt, with little fibre or filling power. It’s time to ditch fries, pizza, fancy flavoured ice creams, fizzy drinks and heavy desserts like cheesecake and chocolate fudge mousse.
4. Save alcohol for the weekends
Wine, bubbly, cocktails and mixer drinks all take their toll on weight. They slip down effortlessly but quickly add on kilojoules/Calories. Yes, they add to the enjoyment of an event or get-together, but if you are serious about losing weight, stick to two standard drinks when out, then go on to mineral water or diet drinks. Better still, steer clear of alcohol entirely which is sometimes the easiest approach. Juices or regular sweetened soft drinks are not an option.
5. Plan 30 mins of brisk exercise each and every day
Now that it’s warm, plan to walk either early in the morning or in the cool of the evening. For example, head out for a walk after dinner to get yourself out of the kitchen and stop picking at leftovers, or choccies. Alternatively head down to the beach or clock up laps at your local pool to take advantage of the summer. Ten minutes of slow freestyle or backstroke will see you burn 360kJ or 86 Cals.
6. Don’t shop when you are hungry
When you are hungry you tend to put more into your trolley, especially treats that you wouldn’t normally buy such as chocolate biscuits or ice creams. And always shop from a list to ensure that you are making the best choices to help with your goals. It also stops impulse buys. Don't shop when you are hungry. You'll buy more!
Don't shop for FOOD when you are hungry. You'll buy more!
7. Know your own weaknesses
If you don’t have a sweet tooth but love savoury salty things such as potato chips and corn chips, face up to it. These snack foods are a real trap – they last a long time without refrigeration, are easy to keep munching on, and don’t trigger your feelings of fullness. The best advice is to avoid having these in the house entirely or swap them for carrot sticks and baby cucumber, capsicum strips and cherry tomatoes before dinner.
Other weaknesses are:
Too much booze (which adds kilojoules/Calories)
Too many chocolates, ice cream and other sweet treats after dinner
Not enough moving or exercise
Too many eating out occasions (which become opportunities to overeat)
Too much snacking
Decide which is yours and tackle it!