The beginning of a New Year is the perfect time for setting new health goals such as losing weight. Setting realistic goals will help you stick with your weight loss resolution. While everyone else is breaking their crash diets in February, you’ll be able to maintain your new healthy habits throughout the year.
Instead of saying you want to lose ‘x’ amount of weight each week, make a resolution to adopt new, healthy habits. Here are some healthy habits for you to adopt in the New Year with five of our top tips for losing weight in 2018.
Cut Back on Alcohol
You don’t need to give up alcohol entirely. In fact, going cold turkey and depriving yourself of something you enjoy is one of the best ways to break your resolution. Instead of giving up drinking, simply cut back on your alcohol intake.
For example, let’s say you’re going to the bar with some friends. You usually would order two, maybe three cocktails, over the course of the night. Making a resolution to cut back and have just one drink when you go out could save you between 150 - 300 calories! If you went out once a week, for a month then that’s a potential 1,200 calories you skipped without depriving yourself.
Alcohol tends to make you want to overeat. Not only are you passing on the extra calories in the drink, but you’re less likely to order off the bar menu to satisfy your junk food cravings.
Make a Pact with a Friend
Having an accountability partner can help you lose weight. This is as simple as enlisting a close friend to be the person you lean on when you’re having a difficult time sticking with your health goals. Whenever you’re feeling down or craving food, just call up your friend and talk through it.
You can also draw inspiration from each other by sharing your health and fitness goals, swapping healthy recipes, and sharing fitness DVDs.
I know no one likes to hear this, but exercise can be one of the best ways to lose weight. Often, people think of exercising as boring activities like running on a treadmill, but that is a pretty narrow outlook. If you get bored running in place, consider more modern activities like pilates or yoga.
Now those of you that are older, don’t think that you can’t exercise either! There are tons of ways that elderly individuals can work out - such as swimming, aerobics or even tai chi. Plus, doing just 3 hours of exercise a week can increase a person’s life span by almost 5 years.
Beyond losing weight, exercise also brings with it the added benefits of improving mental health. I know this kind of statement is said often, but regular exercise has shown to be just as effective as in treating depression as pharmacology or cognitive behavioral therapy. If you’re looking to not only lose weight, but also improve your mental and emotional health, then you should definitely look to include exercise into your weight loss strategy.
Get a Health Check Up
A health checkup performed by a licensed nurse practitioner provides essential screening and preventative care. Discussing your weight loss goals with your nurse is an excellent idea. Screening can check for diseases such as diabetes and depression that may be directly affecting your weight.
While getting a health check up can be a great start to your weight loss journey, it’s also a good way to take control of your overall health. For women this is particularly important as women nurse practitioners offer preventative visits that include breast exams, mammograms, heart disease and diabetes. With this in mind, for those that are looking to stay both healthy and fit in the new year, getting a check-up will prove very beneficial.
Try Adding Food to Your Diet Instead of Subtracting
This sounds counterintuitive, but you can lose weight by adding certain foods to your diet instead of simply cutting foods out. Adding healthy foods into your diet can help with your overall health and weight loss goals.
You can add fruits and vegetables that you enjoy to your lunch bag and snack on them at work. You’ll be less likely to hit up the vending machine for a salty midday snack if you just filled up on the carrots and grapes you brought from home. Opt for whole fruits and veggies instead of misleading, seemingly healthy snacks such as store-bought granola and trail mixes that are loaded with sugar.
Keep a Food Journal
Committing to writing down what your goals and goal weight is an essential to successful dieting. By writing down your goals, you'll not only hold yourself more accountable, but you'll also be able to keep track of all of the progress you've made.
To get the most out of this, you're going to want to make sure you have a great planner. Earlier this year, I was given a 90x Goal Planner from a friend and I have to say it is probably the best goal planner that I've used.
What I love most about it is all the space that there is within the planner. Heck, I take the next step and don't just keep track of my goal weight, but also the foods that I eat. This has been a great way to make myself aware of my eating habits. Knowing that you are going to write down what you eat will make you think twice before heading to the kitchen to raid the cupboards when you’re bored.
People that keep a food diary end up eating about 15% less than people that don’t. For extra accountability, email your food journal to the friend you’ve made a weight loss pact with that was mentioned in the above section.
Making a habit of these five tips can set you up for weight loss success this year. Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself and hating the journey. It’s about forming new habits to make a healthy change in your life. Cheers to the New Year and a healthier you in 2018!