It’s that time of year. The time where we want to jump-start our systems, head back to the gym, vow to lose those pesky pounds. In lieu of crash dieting in 2022, here is some real life weight loss advice from a realistic dietitian!
7 tips for long-term permanent success when it comes to weight loss, weight maintenance and overall health.
- Start planning! It’s not glamorous. It is MOST definitely NOT fun (for most). But it works. It truly does. If you plan out your breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner you are less likely to be hungry, to watch your portions and be less tempted to go through a drive thru. (and it saves money. Lots and lots of money!)
- Go shopping weekly. And make a list!
- Exercise! Have to have to have to. Find something you love or at least something you don’t hate. And do it often. Wear a pedometer and increase your steps daily. Take a class. Join Fitrec. But just get moving. Your body is not meant to be idle. If you sit all day and all night, you need to constantly get up and move to offset this. Get that heart rate up. Lift some weights. Do some stretching. Your body, metabolism and heart will thank you down the line!
- Plan your dinner meals each week. No need to be a short order cook. Eating healthy is for the whole family! You can bake instead of fry. You can add vegetables… steamed, roasted or a nice salad. You can have fruit for dessert. The possibilities are endless. When I hear someone say, “I can’t eat this way, I would have to make 2 meals, 1 for myself and 1 for family”. I cringe. You can make food that is kid friendly but healthy. TRUST ME.
- Make small changes. Make a small goal and then work towards it. Baby steps are better than none at all. I am not a fan of the “I’ll start my diet Monday” approach. What about your next meal? Can you squeeze a workout in today after work? Can you increase your pedometer step goal? Small changes add up over time. I had an almost wheel chair bound patient of mine increase her steps from 1,000 to almost 6,000 a day just by using this approach. You can do it! Stop listing your excuses and instead list what you can accomplish!
- Please ditch the sugary drinks. Please, please, please. Your body, heart, pancreas are not a fan. Wean yourself off as much sugary beverages as you can. Drink LOTS of water. Ice cold, water. From a BPA free container. All day. Throw a slice of lemon or berry or cucumber in there. But drink water. It will energize you and help you burn more calories.
- You only get one life. Let’s make the most of it shall we? Instead of constantly dieting, taking pills, hating on our bodies, embrace life and the body God gave you! Make goals, stop waiting for Monday to press the restart button!!!
~Kelly Devine Rickert, RD and Moraine Valley Community College Wellness Coordinator