With every new year comes a host of new resolutions – most of which are aimed at either eating healthy, losing weight or beginning a new exercise plan. Everyone starts out with the best of intentions, but sure enough, within a couple weeks the new resolutions go right out the door and we’re all back to our old habits. If you’re willing to take in a few tips on how to stick to your diet and exercise plan, however, your odds of success become that much better. Here are some ways to help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
1. No “tomorrows.”
It’s easy to stick to your plan the first week you implement it. But as we roll away from the holiday season and back into our old routines, your old habits sneak up on you. The whole “I’ll start over tomorrow” excuse inevitably extends itself, so it’s best not to allow yourself that option at all. Also, if you are at home with the kids for the holidays, you may be tempted to wait until after they are back in school. This is a bad idea because this sets off a pattern of behavior that condones excuses and broken commitments. When you set your deadlines, keep them. It will help you stay on track for the long-term.
2. Embrace Your Own Style of Healthy.
In general, those who start diet and exercise plans with their own style of healthy do much better. You can read diet and exercise books, order every video available, and take every class at the gym, but if you don’t create your own personalized diet and exercise routine, you are less likely to succeed. Consider your daily routine and what’s realistic for you, then create your own diet and exercise routine so it’s more realistic to stay on track.
3. Put Some Fun in Your Exercise Routine.
Simply hopping on a treadmill or running a couple miles or so can get really boring, and if you’re bored, you’ll quit. Remember, exercise is all about movement, not necessarily just gym equipment that raises your heart rate. Try a Zumba class, get some friends together for a game of basketball, or even throw a Dance Party game in your Wii Console – anything that keeps you moving qualifies. At the very least, make the exercise you do more fun by listening to music that motivates you.
4. Focus Less on Food, More on Portion Size.
Where many people fall short with their New Year’s Resolutions is when they are in a position where they don’t have control over the food being served. Simply skipping the meal isn’t always an option (nor is it good for your metabolism), and sometimes you just really want to eat it anyway. In these on how much is being served. Portion size is a huge factor when staying on track for your weight loss plan. A good rule of thumb is to eat a portion size as large as your fist, or if you can’t visualize it in that way, stick to what would fit on an average salad plate instead of an average dinner plate. circumstances, focus less on what’s being served, and more
5. Find Healthier Food Alternatives.
Basically, you can save a lot of calories by leaving the cheese off your sandwich (it won’t taste much different), sticking to lean meats, and avoiding anything fatty or fried. That’s all a given. But aside from making healthier food choices overall, there are going to be times where you just really have to have a snack or dessert. It’s time to revisit your snacking habits in a different way and get to the bottom of what you really like about a particular dessert or snack. For instance, you need to figure out if is the sweetness and saltiness of a snack that attracts you, or if it is the texture that attracts you to a particular snack (crunchy or chewy) – and then use that as a guide to find substitutes. For those who like chips and dip, you can substitute baked chips and a spicy hummus, or baked chips and a low-fat sour cream based dip. If you really love chewy foods, try switching to sugarless gum to keep your mouth chewing, or try sugarless candies every so often. When it comes to desserts, try substituting banana or blueberry muffins, or buy them in pre-portioned sizes instead of large sizes and you will fare much better (Weight Watchers has a whole line of desserts in grocery stores).
It’s not always easy to stay on track with your New Year’s Resolutions, but if you plan ahead and anticipate your obstacles, it will be much easier to stay motivated until you achieve your weight loss and exercise goals.
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