The holidays are here, and many times people see their waist bands expand a little more than they hoped. After the holidays are over, millions of people set their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in shape.
The mistake many people make is they try to go from 0 -100 with their goals. For example, from rarely exercising or eating healthy to a resolution to running a marathon or becoming a vegan overnight. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to give up all the things you love to lose weight and feel great.
The trick is to set goals and make lifestyle changes you will hold on to versus diets that come and go. Before you read further, I should tell you that I am not an all or nothing person when it comes to eating healthy and exercising. I believe little steps forward are progress. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
I will share some tips to help you enjoy life while keeping the calorie count down.
How many servings are you eating per meal?
If you are old enough to remember the 1980’s, a Mc Donald’s hamburger, small drink, and fries appeared to be a normal serving size. Today, that same size would be considered a kid’s meal. Instead we are served a meal up to four times its original size.
Why do you think that is? Do we burn more calories today than we did in the 1980’s? Do we need more fuel? As the years have passed by, portions at restaurants have gotten larger and since restaurants serve large portions, most Americans have become accustomed to eating meals that are 2, 3, or 4 times the recommended serving size. No wonder the obesity rates in the US are so high.
If you’d like to have a look at the amount of calories in McDonald’s food yourself, check out McDonalds calorie counter. You can add different food items to your cart and see how many calories each contains. If you eat a small hamburger, fries, and drink, you can somewhat stay in a proper calorie range. If you do anything larger than a small, watch out!
Imagine if you decided to eat only the portions you are meant to eat in line with your recommended daily allowance? If you go out to a restaurant, eat your favorite meal but this time only eat half. Consider all the calories you would save by only eating half of your favorite meal. You can then take the rest home and enjoy it later. You can enjoy your meal twice versus shoveling the food down in one sitting and feel miserable because you ate too much. I don’t know how many times my co-workers would return from eating lunch out looking overfed and will needing several hours to recover. All the while, promising next time they would order a salad or eat far less.
What Can you do today?
Now at home, what can you do? To keep it simple, you can change the size of your plate. Most American households have large dinner plates, which if filled completely, would consist of several servings. If you change the size of your dinner plate, to something smaller than your current plate, but larger than an appetizer plate, you will have a good amount of food without going over the recommended daily limit.
Do you notice a difference when you shop at Costco or Sam’s Club and use their huge carts? If you put only one or two things in the cart , it seems bare. Now if you go somewhere that has the miniature carts, like Sprouts (for the CA folks, Meijer’s for Midwest) you don’t have to put as much in your cart to seem full. You can apply this same philosophy to your dinner (or any meal) plates. If you use a smaller plate, your mind will think you have more food than you do. You can clean your plate without feeling guilty while reducing your calorie intake.
Add some vegetables to your diet (the food you eat not fasting)
Losing weight doesn’t have to come down to making an entire change in your daily diet. Remember: I like to take baby steps. Instead of getting rid of all your favorite foods, try to balance out the not-so- healthy items with some fruits and vegetables. If you want a pizza for Friday night, order a nice green spinach salad to go with your pizza. Love to eat steak, try a sweet potato instead of a traditional white potato. With these small changes, you can add some great nutrition to your diet and perhaps diminish the desire for not-so-healthy foods less.
Check your BMI versus weight
Checking your weight on the scale can be very deceiving. The scale doesn’t tell you how much body fat you have. If you are a muscular person but you stop working out, you may not gain weight right away, but you may lose muscle while the scale stays the same.
On the reverse end, you may begin to work out, including strength training, but don’t lose weight. If you check your BMI, you might find that you have lost fat and gained muscle while the scale stays the same or perhaps your weight even increases due to muscle gain.
Surround yourself with supportive people
If you lose weight but those around you are not as fit as they desire, they may unknowingly try to sabotage your progress. Be sure to surround yourself with people who will support your healthier eating habits and decision to lose weight.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few minor changes in your life, you can take the first step towards a positive change in your life. If you are ready to create Happiness in your life today, contact Happiness Now! A coach is there to support you in your life progression.
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