Quick tips from our Nutritionist Caitlin Lantier
- Be realistic: Recognize that weight loss takes time and that slow and steady wins the race. Starting a restrictive, low calorie diet will help you lose weight quickly, but can be difficult to maintain. This is because diets rarely consider an individual’s lifestyle or food preferences. Instead, stick with a few healthy habits that you know to be true (like exercise and drinking water), and eat real, whole, natural foods for more steady weight loss that will last. Bonus – when “dieting” this way, you develop healthy habits that last a lot longer than a commercial diet plan.
- Set small, measurable goals: These goals do not have to be with your weight at all. Rather, you could say, “I will add a salad to my dinner three nights per week for the next four weeks.” These goals are small, measurable, and over time they affect your weight. It is easier to “add” vegetables than it is to “avoid” carbohydrates. Approaching healthy habits this way makes them more enjoyable and establishes them permanently over time because you won’t feel as if you are cheating yourself of anything at all.
- Don’t over-commit: Pick one to two things to work on at first. Examples include adding more vegetables at dinner, getting to the gym a realistic number of times per week, and eating breakfast every day. It is our nature to become eager to start an entirely new lifestyle come the New Year, but know that habits take a long time to create and a long time to replace. Pick a few small healthy habits to begin, and continue to build from there. This way they become habits that last a lifetime.
- Have someone hold you accountable: Work with a professional, like a trainer, a dietitian, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, or your doctor. Exercise with a friend or a family member. Start a support group at work or among friends and relatives. Going at it alone can be very isolating, so find a way to be supported in your efforts so that you can continue to feel inspired and confident in the healthy choices you make.