Thanksgiving is just up ahead along with the thousands of calories one may put on in the process. I created this “Diet Success List” for clients who enter my personal training and group fitness programs, with weight management goals. But, I found that these tips can also be used and applied over the holidays as you spend the next months celebrating with your friends and family.
Do these 10 tips to stay lean, boost your metabolism and maintain fat loss this Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
1. One Day at a Time.
Are you starting each day by focusing on breakfast? Make sure the first meal you eat is a healthy one. Many diets have met their untimely end due to a poor breakfast, which turned into a poor lunch, which turned into a poor dinner, which turned into a poor week… You probably get the picture. If you did have a day that included some slip-ups, breakfast is the perfect time to get back on track. Just start over with a healthy meal. Don’t think about the cookie you had at lunch yesterday or even the office party you have to go to tomorrow. Concentrate on today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. This will also help you not to over eat, especially come Thanksgiving.
2. Two People To Support You.
Don’t isolate yourself. Do you have two people who can be supportive and help you make sound decisions? How long has it been since you checked in with your counsellor? Is there a Boot Camp in St. Petersburg or fitness Buddy out there wondering why she hasn’t received an email from you. Use the resources you have to tell what you might think are the silliest stories: How you passed up some potato chips during lunch, that you had a perfect meal plan day, or that you weighed in and lost two pounds.
3. Three Goals and Three Rewards
Create a goal system for yourself and write it down (if you haven’t already). Short Term Goal – Figure out where you want to be in two weeks and write down a non-edible reward (a new CD, a movie, whatever…) If you reach your goal, make sure to give yourself the reward. If you don’t reach your goal, and it may happen, look at the progress you made and set another goal. Medium range – Decide where you want to be in 2 months and make the reward just a bit larger. (New walking shoes, a day at the salon, a new pair of pants.) Long term – Figure out what your goal weight is and when you think you can reach it. Set up a vacation for that date or find another way to celebrate your achievement. Give yourself a little leeway here. Don’t cancel a trip if you are 3 pounds off. The point is to look forward to something in the future.
4. Four Pieces of Fruit.
Have you been skipping that banana at breakfast and just eating the two muffins, or just having cereal and milk? The fruits will help fill you up and reduce your cravings. Fruits are especially important when just starting out. Chopped or blended fruit are just as well.
5. Five (or more) Servings of Vegetables.
Eating all your vegetables can be especially challenging. Vegetables can be harder to get all of your servings than fruit. Generally speaking, they take more time to prepare, and we only think of them as dinner foods. One of the best ways to ensure you get all your vegetable servings is to plan ahead. Stock up on frozen and canned veggies, in case you forget to buy fresh ones. When preparing your meal, fix the vegetables first. That way there will be no temptation to just eat your entrée and leave the veggies in the fridge
6. Eat Six Times A Day
Oddly enough, one of the keys to losing weight is eating often. You should be eating six times a day. That’s three small meals and a snack after each meal. The faster you can get into this eating habit the better. This will keep you from becoming hungry late at night, when you may be tired and not have as much will power. Your body will also adapt to release fat more readily because it knows its not starving.
7. Seven Days of Exercise
If you haven’t been exercising this may sound difficult. Visions of endless jogging and hours spent in the gym is not what I’m talking about. Start slow and start with what is right for you. Walking every day is a simple way to begin. Even if it is just for 10 minutes, get yourself in the habit of getting up and moving. Walk during your lunch hour or visit a co-worker instead of calling. If you can, adding a couple days of free weights will help you build muscle and ultimately keep your metabolism running at a higher level to promote fat loss. When you get this down, trade that easy stuff for a fast-paced circuit training routine or boot camp!
8. Eight Glasses of Water a Day.
It is hard to believe this can actually help you lose weight. It makes sense that eating well should help, but how does adding water help. Your body needs lots and lots of water. More than most people give it. Water keeps the body in balance. Besides, sometimes we can mistake thirst for hunger, leading to a snack instead of trusty old H2O.
9. Nine Different Activities in Your Workout.
Don’t let yourself get bored doing the same exercises repeatedly. Half an hour worth of sit-ups or walking the same route every day can be boring, even for the most motivated exerciser. My blogs, Facebook posts and Youtube site has good suggestions for different exercises you can build into your program. By trying different things, you will actually be working your muscles in a more productive manner. Our bodies become accustomed to exercises we do all the time and start becoming more efficient and burning fewer calories while performing them. Try this one and subscribe at Youtube!
10. Ten Minutes of Journal Time a Day.
Take time to reflect and write down some of the frustrations you may be having. Being aware of how you feel mentally can help you feel better physically. Your journal doesn’t have to just be what you ate and how far you walked. How is dieting making you feel – frustrated, confident, grumpy, or proud? All of these may cross your mind at one point or another. Writing them down may be a good way to cross them out of your mind.
Follow these 10 proven tips this holiday season and never make another New Year’s Resolution.
P.S. – Get onboard and start the 31-day Total Body Transformation Program on Wednesday, December 1st and lose 20 lbs before 2011.