My brother in law has had me on speed dial as of late since he has joined a weight loss program for the next 16 weeks. I really miss helping people and since I quit Weight Watchers this is a good outlet for me to share! I know there are lots of people who will make the New Year's resolution to get healthy so here are some of my favorite tips to get you on the right track.
1)When eating pasta's always go with red vs. white. Red sauces are tomato based while white sauces are typically cream and butter based.
2)If you're going to eat nuts as a healthy snack there are right and wrong choices! First of all the nuts need to be "raw" and salt free. Almonds are the best heart healthy choice, but all nuts have "healthy fat" if eaten in moderation. A serving is around 1/4 cup. I highly suggest parting out servings into those tiny zip lock bags to ensure portion control.
3)Wear a pedometer. They're cheap (approx. $5-$10) and just wearing one encourages people to walk more; about a mile on average. 10,000 steps a day is considered healthy and active, but moving more today than you did yesterday is success even if it's only 30 more steps.
4)Eat more chicken and fish. Lean proteins are your friend. Not only do they help you stay full longer but if you're working out, protein is fuel for rebuilding muscle. Try to have a lean protein at each meal.
5)Eat something within a hour of waking. This jump starts your metabolism for the day. It doesn't need to be ham and eggs with a large glass of OJ. Just some caloric intake to wake up your digestive system. Continue to eat small nutritious snacks/meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism at it's peak.
6)Drink more fluids. There are studies that show drinking non caloric green tea boosts fat loss and we all know we eat less when we drink more. If you have a hard time getting your waters in flavor it! I love decaf tea with splenda, diet green tea, sugar free Kool-Aid etc. Just keep yourself hydrated.
7)Portion Control! Start out with 1/2 of what you currently eat. Eat it slowly and if you're still hungry get a little more. You will be shocked at just how much less actually satisfies you. Most people eat 1/3 to 1/2 MORE than what they're physically hungry for.
8)Take a minute. If you feel hungry stop and evaluate. Are you hungry or are you bored, upset, angry, happy etc. Skinny people eat brownies, the difference is they eat them when they're actually hungry and stop when they're satisfied vs polishing off the pan due to an argument with a spouse. It's essential to long term success to recognize the difference between head hunger and stomach hunger.
9)Accountability. Like with most things our personal will power will fail us eventually. Having someone to keep you accountable or even try to get healthy with you will make a world of difference. Misery loves company :) It helps if you're not the only one turning cheesecake down. There is strength in numbers, plus a little competition never hurt anyone. Weight Watcher's is a fantastic program and they are offering free registration right now. If you don't like the leader shop around. Each meeting is seriously affected by the leader, don't assume that once you've been to one meeting you've been to them all. That's just not the case.
10)Quit buying junk. You know your weakness. In time (years maybe) you'll be able to have Twinkies in the house and not desire them but now is not the time. Don't give me the, "I buy them for the kids" excuse because they shouldn't be eating them either. After all do you want them to have the same issues we do? I sure don't. Keep your kitchen well stocked with healthy point friendly snacks and foods. The worst decisions are made when we're hungry and have limited options. An oldie but a goodie: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
There are so many amazing resources online. Use them! Some of my favorites are:
-Allrecipes It's not specifically a weight loss website but they have nutritional information on the recipes and you can plug in your main ingredient like boneless skinless chicken breasts and it will give you a huge variety of choices. Just pick the healthy ones!
-Hungry Girl I heart her! She is a Weight Watcher and offers points values for all her stuff. You can sign up for a free newsletter that is stuffed full of great ideas.
-Dottie's Weight Loss Zone If you need a restaurant resource that is ridiculously exhaustive this is it! She has great recipes, meal ideas, and did I mention the restaurants? Seriously check this out before you go out to dinner ever again!
-Weight Watchers I wouldn't even consider leaving out this one. There are thousands of recipes and meal ideas on here. Not only that but the message boards are amazing. If you need an idea just post it and you will get bombarded with great tips. I once posted, "Help, I eat so much chicken I should have feathers. I need new ideas!" By the end of the day there were close to a hundred posts with all kinds of recipes. A couple of my staples over the last several years came from that one post.
The best advice I can give you is to never give up. The difference between those who gain their weight back and those who keep it off is whether or not they wake up the day after a binge and get back on track. Everyone makes mistakes, it's how you respond to it that makes or breaks your success.