Talk show host Oprah Winfrey said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.” It’s no surprise that the number one New Year’s Resolution every year in the U.S. is losing weight. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Obesity leads to the following health problems/diseases: stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, and more. Don’t wait until the conditions in your life are perfect to start making positive changes. Starting NOW makes the conditions perfect. Each day, make a daily resolution to shed the bad habits, and establish and maintain healthier ones.
GOALS: The first step is to get a journal and write short-term and long-term goals following the SMART principle. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Realistic goals will keep you focused and motivated. Example: “I want to lose 25 pounds by April 1st by increasing my protein 25 grams a day, cutting back carbohydrates, and exercising 5 days a week.”
OBSTACLES: Write down what your obstacles (“excuses”) are to achieving your goals. For most people, motivation is a huge factor. Being positive and optimistic are keys to motivation. Also, using rewards for achieving short-term goals are motivational, as long as the reward isn’t food related. Example: “I don’t have time for exercise and can’t give up the chocolate that I crave! But I’ll make the effort to get up 20 minutes earlier every day to walk because it will make me look and feel better. I’ll cut bread out of my diet and reduce the amount of chocolate to a few days a week. After I’ve lost 10 pounds I’m going to buy myself a new workout outfit.”
FOOD CHOICES: Keep blood sugar levels even by eating every 2 or 3 hours. Skipping meals will slow down metabolism. Consume protein at every meal/snack. Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood, are excellent choices. Strive for at least 100 grams a day. Berries are the best choice for fruit. Eat veggies that are low in carbs such as celery, radishes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and sweet peppers. Minimize your intake of potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. Reduce calories and increase protein with meal replacements. Our protein shakes are filled with vitamins and minerals and taste delicious! Avoid drinking soda and juice. Fill up on water!
EXERCISE: Choose an exercise that you enjoy and will stick to. If aerobics classes are not your cup of tea, use the cross-trainer or treadmill. Walk as often as possible. Keep track of your mileage and aim for 10,000 steps a day (equivalent of 5 miles). Working out with a friend is always more fun because it’s more motivational. To reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, workout at least three times a week for 20 minutes minimum. Resistance exercise is crucial to weight loss because it raises Lean Body Mass. LBM is directly related to your metabolism and will help with weight loss. Examples of resistance exercises are dumbbells, weight machines, resistance bands, TRX (body weight exercises), and water exercise.
MANAGE STRESS: Our body can’t distinguish between good (job promotion) and bad (divorce) stress. It needs to be managed or it will wreak havoc on our body and sabotage weight loss efforts. Reduce stress by sleeping at least 7 hours a night, moderate exercise, relaxation (yoga), massage, or psychotherapy.
Be prepared to change your lifestyle and not look back. Every little change makes a difference. Take charge of your health before it takes charge of you. Understand setbacks occur, but remain focused on your goals and stay positive about your abilities. “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”