Most of us, including me, are attempting to unload a few extra pounds we’ve picked up during the last two months of over-baking, over-eating, and over-partying. Here are a few tricks that work well for me…if I manage to stick to my regime.
1. Put down your wine glass and beer. Double-fisting is no way to lose water weight and empty calories, which is exactly what drinking does for you. If you can keep it to one per day, you’re safe from packing on the pounds.
2. Get off your derrière and do something to get your heart rate pumping. It doesn’t matter WHAT it is. Studies have shown that even low-grade activity done most days of the week promotes health and longevity.
3. Eliminate baked goods until there’s a special occassion. Bring leftovers to work, give them to your neighbors, or to your kids to bring to their classes. Just get them out of your house. If you have enough self control, you can freeze them. I, however, happen to realize there’s a microwave in my house & the freezing gimmick doesn’t do the trick for me.
4. Cut down your meat consumption to a few times per week or less, if possible. Nuts, avocados, beans, almond & peanut butter, tofu, and fish offer plenty of protein. You only need 3 oz. per day, people.
5. Keep healthy snacks on hand. If you’re lazy or too busy, buy already sliced and diced veggies and fruit, nuts, rice cakes, hummus, and wheat or quinoa crackers. I keep them in my glove box, diaper bag, purse, and on the middle top shelf of my fridge. The easier access the better so there’s no time for crazy hunger.
6. Stop drinking milk and juice. They offer empty calories and very little in the way of nutrition unless freshly squeezed and unpasteurized. Drink water instead. If this isn’t interesting enough for you, make it sparkling. Add a squeeze from an orange or lime. Muddle some berries or fresh mint and throw them in. It tricks you into feeling like you’re having a fancy drink. (No diet sodas. The chemicals cause brain tumors and other nasty such things.)
7. Go easy on the carbs. That doesn’t mean you should give them up. That’s asinine, since they serve a purpose for energy stores in your body. Besides, banning them will only make you want them more. Just be reasonable. Cut to a few small portions each day and make them whole grain, quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. White carbs act like glue in your intestines, making them difficult to digest.
8. Drink a full glass of water before you eat. It fills your stomach and prevents over-eating.
9. Stick to low-fat dairy products. Eat as litte dairy as possible, actually, as its supposed nutrients are difficult for your blodd to absorb. YES, this applies to protein and vitamin D. If you’re worried about osteoperosis, be sure to consume leafy greens and nuts. These are the best vitamin sources your body may absorb to ward off osteoperosis. Trust me, it’s in the research!
10. Find a partner. It helps to have someone motivate you. If there’s no one else in your circle who’s in the same boat, find a group online. There are tons of them that are free like Spark People, for example.
11. Keep a food journal. Write down EVERY bite you consume. It’s amazing how much snacking we’re doing. When you see how many items you’re eating in a day, you’ll want to cut down your list.
12. Be nice to yourself. No one is perfect. You’ll have good days and bad. Allowing a little cheating is what keeps us from over-indulging. Also, make small changes incrementally; you will have more success. Being an extremist doesn’t usually work well and sets you up for failure.
Good luck and Happy New Year!