My goal is to lose 50 pounds. The goal seems so out of my reach but I know I can do it.
Getting started has been tough. Like most people, my kick-off date was Jan. 1. But after a week-long vacation in the middle of January and enjoying all the fun and tasty treats that Valentine's weekend is sure to deliver, I feel like I’ve gotten off track.
I know there are others just like me who need help staying focused.
So what can we do to make sure that on Jan. 1, 2012 we are lighter than Jan. 1, 2011?
Registered Dietician Althea Zanecosky says the first thing you need to do is “Set smaller, achievable goals like two pounds by next week.” Saying 'I want to lose 50 pounds' could make your goal seem harder to achieve.
Since the weight loss fairy won’t automatically come and remove the pounds for you, the next step is to have a plan.
Zanecosky says make a decision to no longer go to the vending machine, and then determine what your alternative behavior will be. For example you can bring yogurt or fruit to keep in the office fridge.
Other tricks to stave off hunger and poor eating habits include chewing gum, enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate, and trading crunchy chips for crunchy fruit or veggies.
It’s also important to keep a food diary. You can’t measure what you don’t track. Keeping a food log that you share with a friend or nutritionist will keep you honest. Having a food log can also be useful when trying to determine why you aren’t losing weight and what situations cause you to succumb to temptation.
When you do fall off the wagon, fitness expert and co-owner of Crossfit Center City Erin Davidson says don't dwell on the past, don't dwell on your mistakes, but do learn from them.
“Any real change in your body is going to take real change in your habits - which simply takes time," says Davidson. "It's like anything else in life: eating right takes practice.”
To prevent yourself from eating foods that aren’t good for you’ve got to plan.
“Healthy food in perfect proportions will not actually fall from the sky right on to your plate,” says Davidson.
You've got to learn to cook according to Davidson.
“You've got to learn to plan ahead to have food you actually want to eat that's good for you," says Davidson. "Most of the time the 'bad' choices we make with eating have more to do with the 'bad' decisions we have made with planning.”
And since birds of a feather flock together, you should watch the company you keep. Join a weight loss group or start your own. It only takes two to tango, and it’s always good to have a back-up plan just in case your weight loss partner decides to go into hiding at the doughnut shop. It’s ultimately up to you to stay on track. For me accountability is also important. If I know there is someone checking on me, I am more likely to eat right and exercise.
The last message is don’t diet -- make a lifestyle change. Lean people think, act, eat, and look lean according to Davidson.
Let’s “Win By Losing” together on Facebook. Log on and tell me how you are losing weight and what your biggest challenges are!