The New Year is getting closer and you’re set on becoming a better you! If you’re like most Americans, chances are you will have gained at least a couple of unwanted pounds by the time the new year rings in. Some sources suggest as much as 7-12 pounds.
Taking off that holiday weight may be your resolve. But not so fast. New Year’s resolutions come and go, sometimes faster than you can say the word RESOLUTION. In fact, 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed in realizing their New Years Resolutions according to author, innovation consultant and speaker, Stephen Shapiro.
So how can you make a lasting fitness resolution? Registered dietitians Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, aka The Nutrition Twins®, authors of the Secret to Skinny and Fire Up your Metabolism, and fitness expert Jessica Smith, star of the 10 Pounds Down! DVD Series, provide the Do’s and Don’ts for sticking to your goals.
DON’T make a resolution that won’t keep. “Create a few SMART goals for 2011 instead”, says Smith.
“Instead of saying ‘I want to lose weight’,’turn that into something more tangible and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and on a Timeline). Say ‘I will lose 8 pounds by March 1st by cutting out an evening snack and taking a 20 minute walk daily’.”
DON’T start a crash diet. “A juice fast will have you losing weight and then gaining it all back again, why not make simple changes that you can maintain,” says Smith who recommends replacing butter with chicken broth to cut out fat and calories (not the flavor) in mashed potatoes.
DON’T expect to be perfect. “It will only set you up for disappointment when you have one ‘bad day’ or ‘bad meal’,” say The Nutrition Twins®.
“Focus on small, simple changes you can maintain like swapping out whole milk for skim or cutting out high sugar juices and soda for sparkling water,” says Smith.
DON’T skip meals hoping to save yourself calories and lose weight. “This will backfire as you’ll be ravenous when you do eat and you’ll likely overdo it, consuming more food than if you had eaten your other meal,” warn The Nutrition Twins® who recommend the following Do’s instead:
- DO: Be prepared. Cut up veggies and keep them on the top shelf of the fridge. Snack on them when you’re hungry or when you’re deciding what to eat instead of going for the chips, cookies or pretzels.
- DO: Include More Veggies. Make a deal with yourself to try to include vegetables at least at two meals/ day. This will help you to get extra nutrients and fiber and help you to feel satisfied with a small amount of calories
- DO: Get a Balance. Be sure to include a small portion of a whole grain, fibrous carb, a lean protein and a fruit or vegetable at every meal.
- DO: Drink plenty of water. Most people need about 9-12, eight-ounce glasses of water a day. So this is a good estimate of how much you should be getting. The good news is that when you eat plenty of fruits and veggies it helps you to meet your fluid requirements.
This New Years, follow these guidelines to make your resolution a healthy and lasting one.