If you resolved to lose weight this year, you’re in good company. If you actually lose weight this year, you’re not. As a dietitian with almost 20 years of experience, I pay particular attention to what sets the “losers” apart. Here, I’ve identified seven habits you can adopt that will help you achieve your goal and maintain your health in 2017
Here are 7 Tricks for Maintaining Your Weight-Loss Resolutions
1. Eat regular meals.
Many people think the key to weight loss is cutting calories, and they’re right. However, it isn’t as always as simple as it seems. Slashing calories by skipping meals, for example, can cause your metabolism to slow down. This means that your body has less energy and begins to store or save calories instead of burning them. What’s more, skipping meals may alter your appetite and encourage you to eat a bigger meal later, ultimately increasing your calorie intake. It’s best to eat five or six regular, small meals filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals throughout the day.
2. Don’t slash portions.
Reducing your portions might lead to hunger, subsequent cravings and even binge eating. It’s good to cut your portions, but only if you do so gradually. If you regularly eat four scoops of rice or three rolls of bread, for example, don’t remove these foods from your diet completely. Instead, eat half of your regular portions. As weeks pass, continue to reduce your portions. One way to do so while fulfilling your hunger is by replacing carbs with vegetables.
3. Give in to cravings.
Resisting cravings for sweets, cakes, chips, sodas and other “junk” foods will encourage you to eat extra-large portions of them when the opportunity presents itself again. Instead of swearing off such treats completely, cut down on your cravings the same way you scale back your portions: slowly and gradually. If you are used to eating a pack of cookies in one sitting, for instance, cut down to two or three, satisfy your craving and move on. You’re still cutting calories by eating less.
4. Learn new recipes.
Preparing and consuming the same meal daily – think a grilled chicken salad – is a common mistake since it can easily lead to boredom. If you’re not an experienced cook, I invite you to learn about new foods and recipes that are filling and healthy. Open your mind to new flavors, textures, colors and consistencies. Steer clear of fried foods; try steaming, baking, grilling or roasting foods instead. These cooking methods can help you cut down your calories without cutting down on portions or denying yourself a favorite cut of meat. If you’re not sure what to look for, talk to a registered dietitian in your area who can guide you and give you ideas to suit your preferences.
5. Follow an organized meal plan.
While you explore new foods and recipes, you also need an organized plan. It’s difficult to change the way you eat and prepare foods if you don’t have the right ingredients at home. Write down what you plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks ahead of time. Then, use it to create a shopping list and stock your pantry with healthier options. That way, you will not be forced to improvise and to fall into the trap of eating your same old (unhealthy) foods.
6. Set attainable weight-loss goals.
Who doesn’t want fast results? But making a few changes and expecting to lose five to 10 pounds the first week is unrealistic. Normal weight loss is one to four pounds per week. Create long-term weight-loss goals too, like losing 20 pounds by the summer or 40 to 50 pounds in one year.
7. Create a buddy system.
You are not in this alone! Seek out people who share your goal – that will motivate you and help you stay on track. Talk to people who cook regularly and trade healthy recipes with them. Embrace this adventure as a family. You can also find a dietitian to coach you through the process or talk to your doctor or other professional on your health care team.
Source : http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles