A New Year, A New Weigh: 10 steps to change your eating behavior & lose weight
What’s at the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions? If it’s to lose weight than count yourself in the majority. It’s estimated that 60% of U.S. adults say they want to lose weight and at least that many are overweight or obese. If success could be achieved by sheer numbers and desire, we’d all be winners at weight loss!
The how and why obesity is of such epidemic proportion is complicated and although it’s important to understand, that’s not what will get you motivated to take action and help yourself and those you care about lose weight and get healthier. What will help is to decide what small steps you can take that will add up to success each and every month of this year and will pave the way for your continued success in the years to come.
If you’ve resolved in past years to lose weight but haven’t, it’s time to discard your global plan to “lose weight” and drill down to small doable action steps. Below is a top 10 list of powerful steps to change your eating behavior and lose weight:
- Consider each meal and each day a new opportunity to make good choices. What you did yesterday is over. Don’t let yesterdays slip ups bring you down or be an excuse for poor choices today.
- Write a motivation statement. Exactly why do you want to lose weight? It will be useful to remind yourself often, especially when temptation is strong or your motivation weakens.
- Don’t give up, even for a day. It’s the only sure way to fail. A small effort (like a bite of food left on your plate), is better than no effort and they add up over time.
- Weigh 1-2 times per week. Weighing every day can be frustrating and de-motivating. Weighing less often can let things get away from you.
- Hold yourself accountable or get outside support. Weekly check-ins are helpful, especially during the early stages of weight loss; having to report in often helps motivate you to keep on track.
- Eat more meals at home. Determine the number of meals you eat at home now and improve. Remember you want to succeed so set a reasonable number.
- Choose foods close to nature more and more often. For example, switch from processed peanut butter (with added sugar) to fresh ground peanuts, a fresh orange vs. orange juice, a baked potato vs. potato salad or potato chips.
- Eat vegetables every day. How many servings do you currently eat? Set a reasonable number to strive for (the ultimate goal is 4-6 servings each day). Frozen and canned do count.
- Drink 8 glasses of water daily (and omit or reduce sodas and sweetened drinks).
- Track your food intake by paper or electronic method. Recording at least 3 days a week (one weekend day) will give you valuable information to make informed food choices.