You’ve made losing weight your New Year’s resolution so many times it would take a Harvard Ph.D. to do the math. This year, it’s time to do something different to pull yourself together, and there’s no time to waste (It’s already January 4th!). Get going with these 8 steps:
- Don’t Procrastinate. The holidays are over and the damage is done. Get back to your regular eating schedule ASAP. I know you may be tempted to starve yourself or skip meals, but this will come back to bite you. Dieters who skip meals end up making up the skipped calories, and then some, when they finally do eat. Just eat less. You have to eat less to weigh less.
- Manage Your Mistake. Starting Now.“It” Girls manage their slip-ups as soon as they happen. It’s easier to come back from two pounds than five. Go back to basics- track your food, weigh portions, go back to the diet plan that worked for you before the holiday derailment.
- Stop Eating Out For One Week. Exert total control over food and drink choices for one week. Bring your lunch to work, cook meals at home, and buy packaged foods with calorie counts that work for you. Had a lunch plan? Postpone until next week or meet for coffee or a spin class, instead.
- Go Food Shopping. Yes, your fridge contains enough Christmas cookies to feed a small country. That’s exactly why it’s time hit the supermarket. If all you have in your house is cookies, challah French toast and champagne, that is all you will have to eat. Restock your house with the foods you need to implement your weight loss program for the week. Which, brings me to tip #5…
- Clean Up Your Kitchen. I am not talking about Windex here. That New Year’s cake might look festive on the countertop, but it will tempt you and keep your cravings activated. Freeze in the basement freezer, give it away, or just toss those last two slices. We eat with our eyes, and just seeing tempting foods intensifies our desire for them. Out of sight, out of mouth.
- Institute A Boredom Diet. For a few days eat very monotonous. Variety stimulates appetite, which stimulates consumption (aka calories!). Science shows a strong link between monotony of food choices and reduced caloric intake. Boring is best for weight loss and craving control!
- Cut Back By 150-200 Calories A Day. No need to starve yourself in an effort to get skinny by the end of the month. Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. People who are starving get irritable and have a higher failure rate. But, you do need to cut enough calories to make it matter. If you cut back by 150-200 calories daily, it will show up as real weight loss on the scale.
- Don’t Be a Perfectionist. Take the lessons you’ve learned from the holiday season and use them throughout the year. Viewing the occasional mistake as a learning experience can keep it from growing into something larger. A 100-calorie indulgence is just that. But if it’s perceived as a failure and you default to “I blew it!” thinking, it can turn into a thousand-calorie indulgence. Had some slip-ups? Think about what went wrong and how you can prevent a similar situation during the days ahead. Then-most important- forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s time to carry on.