Tip #1 - Watch what you eat
Don't buy into fad diets. They'll leave you hungry and most of the time won't work for you long term. Instead, look for ways to make better food choices that will reduce the calories you consume and increase your nutritional intake.
Try these ideas:
- To help you develop portion control, use smaller plates at home. If you eat lunch or dinner at a restaurant, put half of the serving in a to-go box for a later meal.
- Switch from white to whole-grain breads. And substitute fat-free or low-fat dairy products for the full-fat versions.
- Fill up on fruits. Try them for snacks or choose them for dessert.
- Want to eat less at lunch and dinner? Start with a hearty bowl of broth-based soup or a green salad (with light dressing, of course).
Tip #2 - Choose an exercise you like
The best form of exercise is the one that you do consistently. Find something you enjoy, whether it's a team sport like soccer, an individual sport like swimming, or a fitness routine like yoga. If you find yourself getting bored, try something new or find yourself a buddy or a class to make it more fun.
Tip #3 - Set goals
To be successful with your healthy New Year's resolutions, be as specific as possible with your goals. And be reasonable. For instance, a weight loss of one to two pounds a week is usually reasonable if you eat responsibly and get moderate exercise. So set your weight loss goal with that in mind.
For exercise, set small goals to increase your performance and consistency. For example, set a goal of getting some form of intense exercise three days a week. Short-term goals that you can accomplish in just a few weeks will help keep you motivated. Long-term goals that go out several months to a year will help keep you focused and on track.
Tip #4 - Reward yourself
Every time you meet a goal, give yourself a reward. Did you lose the 10 pounds you promised to lose? Did you get some form of exercise three days a week for the last month? Did you make it six weeks without a sugary soda? Give yourself a new outfit, a day at the spa, a movie, or a new book. Some of the most successful people are those who reward themselves every week with a cheat day. On that one day, they allow themselves a special food or they give themselves a full day off from exercise.
Tip #5 - Forgive yourself
No one is perfect. So when you slip up, accept it and move on. When you're trying to control your food portions, don't despair if you chow down on a big burger one day. Just get back on track at your next meal. When you miss a day at the gym, don't use that as an excuse to skip the rest of the week. Get back in the groove the next day.