Break with New Year tradition – Stuff the Diet!
It’s a brand new year; a brand new decade; a chance to start 2010 as you mean to go on. This January, break with tradition, Stuff the Diet! and seek support to ditch old habits/behaviours which are unhelpful to your goals and replace them with new behaviours.
First, decide on resolutions not to make. Changing your behaviour is the only sure way of lasting weight loss success not dieting which traditionally start in January and can end by February!
Making a resolution such as 'no more chocolate from now on' sounds like the kind of thought that would help you lose weight - right? Wrong! What would happen if you did happen to indulge in a Mars Bar - would that mean you had failed and lead to you ultimately throwing in the towel?
Words to watch out for are 'always', 'never' and 'nothing'. These can fool you into thinking you're making positive statements when in fact they're negative. So watch out when creating your New Year's resolutions – and make sure they'll help and not hinder your weight loss efforts.
Read on to find out how to create small changes to help your weight loss!
Unsuccessful Resolution 1: 'I'm not going to snack between meals'
Can't resist the biscuit tin? You might be tempted to banish snacks full stop. But healthy snacking can keep you going until the next meal, and doesn't mean you'll pile on pounds, Better to: Reach for low calorie/fat snacks like a delicious selection of fruit salad, a handful of nuts and seeds or carrot, cucumber, pepper sticks with low-fat houmous.
Unsuccessful Resolution 2: 'I'll never miss a day at the gym'
It's great to be committed to exercising regularly, but it's really no big deal if you miss the odd workout. Setting yourself unachievable targets means that if you don't stick to them you give yourself a hard time. Result? That fun workout won't be so fun anymore and you'll slack off. Better to: Be realistic. Aim for three to five sessions of activity twenty to thirty minutes per week – and enjoy it.
Unsuccessful Resolution 3: 'I can shed a stone a month'
Crash dieting might shift pounds short term, but long term it's a different story. Researchers at Yale University Centre for Eating Disorders tracked hundreds of dieters and saw that the faster they lost weight the more likely they were to gain it right back. Better to: Aim to lose around 2lb a week.
Unsuccessful Resolution 4: 'I'll cut out fat completely'
All fat is bad for your health, right? Wrong. We all need a certain amount of fat in our diet. It acts as a carrier of vitamins A, D, E and K and provides, among other things, essential fatty acids which can prevent heart disease. Better to: Choose the right kind of fats. Cut back on foods containing saturated fats (cheese, butter, biscuits, cakes) and replace with foods containing unsaturated fats (oily fish, nuts and olive oil).
Unsuccessful Resolution 5: 'I'll banish breakfast'
Because you haven't eaten for hours, when you wake up your blood sugar levels are low. Skipping breakfast can induce cravings for something sweet. You'll also be more likely to consume more calories later in the day. Better to: If you can't face eating much first thing, even a glass of unsweetened fruit juice will give you some vital nutrients.
Unsuccessful Resolution 6: 'I'll never eat out'
Huge starters, fatty main courses, sugary desserts. It's no surprise that slimmers think twice about going to restaurants. But denying yourself completely will lead to diet failure. Besides, you might be trying to lose weight but you still need to enjoy life. Better to: Eat out, but order cannily. Clear soups make a diet-friendly starter, replace chips with jacket potatoes and choose sorbet or fruit for pudding. Also think about planning ahead to ensure you are not starving when you arrive at the restaurant or friend’s house – have a bowl of soup, light salad or drink some water before you leave home. Ensure you continue to eat healthily during the day so you are not starving when you arrive and want to eat everything in sight!
Unsuccessful Resolution 7: 'I won't be happy until I'm at my goal weight'
What's that saying? It's about the journey, not just the destination. Congratulate yourself on deciding to change your habits for the better, and acting on it - that's a big step already. Better to: Set yourself bite-sized goals – getting back into an old pair of jeans or being able to run to the end of your street, say - and then reward yourself for reaching them. Praise is a great motivator including self praise. If you find this difficult, seek support from others to praise you.
So this year, remember that if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got!
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