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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Make Diet Resolutions Reality: 10 Tips!

New Year’s Eve is at hand and you’re so determined to stick with your weight-loss resolutions that you’ve even written them down... in permanent black marker!

Sure, you’ve gone through the same drill year after year. Come Jan. 1, you break out the carrot and celery sticks and push the chips and cookies to the back of the pantry, determined to shed that spare tire once and for all.

For a whole week or so you’re "good" -- you cut calories and find time for a rigorous exercise regimen. But then, in a moment of weakness, you down a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream. And then, in another weak moment, you gobble several slices of greasy stuffed pizza. To make matters worse, you skip a workout -- or five.

It’s all downhill from there as you throw in the towel and resolve to try again -- next year.

Does this frustrating scenario sound all too familiar? Don't give up the fight. Like millions of other overweight men and women, you're the victim of a few common dieting mistakes.

This year, get it right with expert help from eDiets and well-versed contributors like Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits and Inspirations. When the Washington, D.C.-based nutritionist isn’t busy improving the health of congressmen, diplomats, journalists and cabinet members, she’s serving as national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Katherine's updated best-seller is chocked full of proven weight loss pointers backed by recent science and research. Diet Simple also offers 29 new recipes -- including desserts and party foods -- and easy-to-follow tips for all.

Katherine tells eDiets the most important thing to remember is to keep it simple.

"If you want to lose weight, the key is finding strategies that you can easily work into your lifestyle," she notes. "Don’t make sweeping overhauls that are doomed to fail. People who fail end up going on extremely rigid diet plans. They’re depressing diet plans or pills or supplements that they can’t keep up.

"Don’t try to change too much at once. Set goals that are realistic and simple enough," she said. "Studies show that people are more successful at keeping resolutions that are widely believed. In fact, a recent study found the success rate of resolutions is 10 times higher than the success rate of adults desiring to change, but not making a resolution."

First, make a resolution. Then boost your odds of success by integrating these 10 simple secrets into your life.

1. Defuse calorie bombs! Get rid of the foods in your house that you have a problem controlling. Bottom line: If that saves just one 500-calorie binge per week, you could lose 7 pounds in a year.

2. Irritate the waiter! Shake up the usual order of things in a restaurant by ordering your entree before drinks or appetizers. This will take the edge off your appetite so that you’ll order more modestly. Count on saving at least 400 calories per night out. Bottom line: If you "irritate the waiter" just once a week, that adds up to losing 6 pounds a year!

3. Hit the ground running! Wake up in the morning, yawn, roll out of bed, go to the bathroom, have a drink of water and slip into your workout clothes. Don’t check email or phone messages. Start moving. Then you’ll have your exercise finished before you’re even awake. Bottom line: Do it for just 15 minutes a day and lose 10 pounds in a year!

4. Get sexy lingerie! After accomplishing just one of these strategies, reward yourself -- or ask your spouse to -- with something that’s not a box of chocolates or an elaborate dinner out. Make the substitution just once a week and you’ll save at least 1,200 calories. Bottom line: Lose 18 pounds in a year.

5. Say no to food pushers! Take a positive approach. Sample the offered food, but tell your host, “This is delicious. I’d love to have more, but I’m wonderfully satisfied and can’t take another bite.” Be positive, yet firm. Bottom line: If you resist a food pusher once a week, and decide not to have the 500-calorie dessert, you can easily lose 7 pounds in a year.

6. Afternoon delight! If you’re hungry in the afternoon -- even if it’s close to dinner -- eat something! Do it now. Approaching dinner in a ravenous state is asking for a binge. It is especially important to eat an afternoon snack if dinner is late. Bottom line: A planned snack can save you at least 300 calories a night.

7. Breathe deeply! Before you eat anything, take your food to the table. Sit down, close your eyes and take three or four deep breaths to relax your mind and body. Listening to your body’s real hunger signals is one of the keys to long-term weight maintenance. Bottom line: If being deeply aware of your body and the food in front of you causes you to eat two fewer slices of bread than usual, you’ll save 160 calories.

8. Eat then shop! When you’re trying to lose weight, nothing is more hazardous than shopping when you’re hungry. Foods that would never catch your eye when you’re in your right mind will suddenly look very appealing. Do yourself a favor. Eat, then shop. Bottom line: My guess is that if you go shopping twice a week, and if you manage to eat before leaving home, you can count on saving yourself at least 300 calories each trip.

9. More snacking, fewer calories! People who snack between meals find it easier to lose weight because they actually take in fewer calories. Snacks keep you satisfied so you’re less likely to experience runaway hunger or emotional cravings. Snacks have to be planned. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stuck with whatever’s available. Bottom line: If your healthy snack keeps you from your usual vending machine pick-me-up, you’ll save about 250 calories right there. Do it every day and you’ll lose a lot of weight in a hurry.

10. Eat by the clock! Your body gets hungry every three to five hours. Impulse eating, or bingeing, is usually a result of poor planning. If you eat at regular times and never let yourself get too hungry, you'll be less likely to overindulge. Eat five times a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Just three meals can work too, provided the meals are balanced, and your breakfast, lunch and dinner are roughly equal in calories. Bottom line: This is a very significant change. You can lose tremendous amounts of weight just by planning meals carefully and sticking to a regular mealtime schedule.

By eDiets Staff


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