Making a weight loss resolution is easy – It’s keeping it that’s the challenge. In January the determination to shed those extra kilos is through the roof, but come February that motivation has well and truly wavered. While we’re all guilty of breaking our resolutions from time-to-time – okay, nearly all of the time – it doesn’t mean that you have to give up.
Here are ten tips, provided by Colette Heimowitz – Nutritionist and Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals Inc – to help you keep those 2015 weight-loss goals in check:
1. Make sure your goal is realistic – and achievable
Trying to lose ten kilos in a month isn’t realistic. A healthy and sustainable amount to lose is around one kilogram per week, says Colette. A more gradual approach to weigh-loss has also been reported to provide more sustainable and lasting results, so lower your expectations and set more achievable time-frames.
2. Use the available resources
There’s an abundance of information surrounding weight-loss online, so start doing your research and find out suitable options. Colette advises using a scientifically formulated plan such as the New Atkins Nutritional Approach to assist you in creating healthy eating habits while losing weight. ”New Atkins advocates the consumption of lean proteins, lots of colourful vegetables, natural healthy fats, low sugar fruits, and as you approach weight loss goals, whole grains.”
3. Reward yourself
Break your weight-loss goal down into smaller and more achievable milestones and reward yourself each time you successfully complete them. Maybe it’s exercising three times a week, or restricting your sugar intake for two weeks. Whatever the goal, Colette says a reward will boost your motivation and give you something to look forward to. Just don’t reward yourself with food, she stresses. Instead, “put money towards new gym gear to help your fitness plans, or a new dress to wear.”
4. Inspire yourself
Inspiration gives you the drive necessary to commit to your goals. The age old ‘if you can visualise it you can achieve it’ is a great strategy to apply here. See yourself as having reached your goal and imagine the satisfaction it will bring. Colette suggests creating an inspiration board to help you stay on track. And “put it somewhere obvious,” she insists.
5. Spread the word
Being made accountable is a great way to keep you motivated and responsible for your results. Maybe you want to take a pilates or spin class with a friend once a week. Or invite your buddies to join you on an app like My Fitness Pal, whereby your progress is posted in a newsfeed. Either way, Colette advises sharing your journey with family, friends and colleagues. “The more support you have the more likely you’ll succeed.”
6. Swap bad for good
Substitute your favourite snacks or meals for more healthy and nutrient dense options. Colette suggests swapping ice-cream for natural yoghurt and fresh berries, or opting for low-carb chocolate bars as opposed to the high sugar stuff you find in the confectionery isle. You’ll save on calories and won’t feel like you’ve ruined your diet afterwards.
7. Skip the junk food aisle
Steer clear of confectionery isles all together if you can help it – that way you won’t have to fight temptation when it arises. Instead, head to the health-food section where you’ll find “delicious low-carb alternatives… that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied without the sugar spike afterwards,” says Colette.
8. The more you move, the more you’ll lose
They say it’s 80-percent diet and 20-percent exercise. But opting to go for an afternoon walk with a girlfriend, as opposed to watching the latest episode of your favourite soap, is going to be more beneficial for your waistline. Not to mention it’s great for those endorphins.
9. Don’t weigh every day
Resist the temptation to weigh yourself every day. Weigh in once a week and “always in the morning.” Don’t be disheartened if you haven’t dropped anything on the scales – there are multiple factors that can contribute to this. Instead, focus on finding the right balance of carbohydrates you can eat to lose or maintain weight, says Colette. Gage your progress by how you feel and how your clothes fit.
10. Never give up
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or falter somewhere along the way. There’s always going to be setbacks or obstacles that will appear to slow you down. Instead, focus on continuing to work towards your goal and just keep plodding along. Alternatively, if motivating yourself to get back on the horse (so to speak) isn’t your strength, there are programs out there that are structured to offer support and to help keep you on track.
Image via Femina Health