Essential Steps to Reaching Your New Years Goal
Are we already halfway through January? I know, time just flies by without any warning. How's that New Year Resolution going? Perhaps it is something you've been working on for years, something you've failed several times because you think it takes too much self-control and dedication. For example, losing a few pounds. But is it really that hard? Or are you making it hard by trying to rush yourself into it? Weight-loss is a journey, and the best approach is to take it one small step at a time.
Step 1. Prepare Yourself
This step is so small that you don't even have to lift a finger (or toe), but it can make a big difference. Let's face it, a nice toned figure requires relentless training and a carefully controlled diet. However, unless you are not trying to look like a Victoria's Secret model, don't be so hard on yourself. It's best to set a realistic goal for yourself. Don't try to lose 5 pounds in a week by going on a crazy diet, then get frustrated when you "fall off the wagon". The whole purpose of this resolution should be about feeling good about yourself. Granted, there's no harm in being a little ambitious, being too ambitious might make a dent on your confidence and we definitely don't want that.
Step 2. Keep a Food Diary
Keeping a food diary can truly be a tedious chore and can take all the fun out of dining. However, just a week of keeping a food diary can do you a lot of good. For example, you will be more aware of how much you eat in a day. You may not realize this, but sometimes we tend to underestimate our daily intake. If you don't believe me, here's a simple test. After a day of jotting down your food consumption, you might be surprised by the food items you overlook.
Another positive of a food diary is being more aware of your caloric intake. This will help you be more aware of what to avoid. When you realize that a tablespoon of butter contains nearly the same amount of calories as a medium potato, minus the Vitamin C, you might make more wise choices.
There's a great App to keep track of your daily exercise and intake: MyFitnessPal. You can easily log your food and exercise and it will do the math for you. It also syncs with iPhone's Health feature, so you may even skip counting your footsteps.
Interesting fact: I got this idea when I stumbled upon a British TV documentary called Secret Eaters on YouTube. It explores the habit of overeating and how that burdens your health. Check it out if you are interested.
Step 3. Cook More Often
This is a very important tip because it is true that you tend to add less fat and sugar when you cook your own meals, which is great news when you are trying to lose a couple of pounds. You use less fat and preservatives and you make your meal in reasonable portion size instead of the gigantic size commonly seen at restaurants. This is all old new though and my reason for doing this is similar my previous tip.
If you know a recipe, you have a rough idea of how many calories are packed in your dish when you are dining out. This might sound familiar to you if you have ever tried baking at home and you were shocked by the amount of sugar and butter the recipe asked for. When you are aware of the ingredients in a chocolate chip cookie, you may have more motivation to pass along the cookie tray.
There are a lot of little tips that can make weight-lose less stressful, but as I said before, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Simply sticking to these three will give you a great head start.