Top Weight Loss Tips for 2011
If you are like many people across the US it's a new year and you are thinking about tackling diet and lifestyle changes to lose weight and be healthy.
Here are 10 top weight loss tips for you to implement this year:
1. Create an action plan.
It takes more than setting a goal to actually achieve your goal. You need to outline a plan of action. This means writing down specific steps you have to take and when/how you are going to take them to ensure you your success.
2. Be realistic.
Yes, it'd be great to drop 50 pounds by summer, but is it realistic for you? Set realistic, achievable goals to keep yourself motivated.
3. Keep a food journal.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or control high blood pressure a healthy diet is essential. People who keep food journals have a much higher success rate than those who do not.
4. Increase your activity during everyday life.
Yes, you need to add set workout time, but increasing activity during everyday activities will also contribute substantially to calorie burn and heart health. For example, can you commute to work by walking or biking? What about actually shoveling some snow instead of using the snow blower for everything?
5. Clean sweep.
Go through your kitchen cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator to remove not so healthy choices from reach. Yes, will power will play a role as you change your habits, but why tempt yourself unnecessarily?!
6. Establish a support team.
Now, I don't want you to depend on a workout buddy to keep you motivated (i.e. they decide not to workout, so neither do you), but it is essential to let your family and friends know your goals so they can support you on your journey. It'll be very difficult if your partner and family unintentionally sabotage your efforts. Get them on your side from the start!
Be very clear and honest with yourself the "why" behind why you want to lose weight and post reminders where you see them daily. If it's a desire to look good in a pair of jeans, post a picture of your goal physique within daily view. If your "why" is fear you'll be taken from your family too soon, keep a picture of your family with you and posted in visible places as a visual reminder of why you need to stick with your plan.
It seems we get busier and busier year after year. There's not enough minutes in the day to get everything done that needs done! What usually gets short changed is sleep. Lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone and leads to overeating. Make at least 7 hours of sleep daily a priority.
9. Reward yourself.
When you achieve a goal, recognize it! Achieving your "big" goal is going to take time. Right now you may be fully committed to your new lifestyle, but overtime you may grow disenchanted. Change isn't going to be easy. Keep yourself motivated and excited about the changes you are making by rewarding yourself when you achieve a short term goal, such as a new book you've been wanting to read or a Sunday matinee (with a healthy snack during movie time!).
10. One step at a time.
In my opinion, this is the most important tip. It's essential you make changes one step at a time. You can go overboard trying to change all your "bad" habits at once. This sets you up for failure as you will burn out, revert to old habits, and be right where you are this time next year.
Be sure to grab the special report "How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits" courtesy of Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at http://hearthealthmadeeasy.com.