As we fast approach Christmas, many people strive to get on track with their diet and even lose some excess weight before Christmas.
The main pitfall to be mindful of is seeing any weight loss or “restriction” as a temporary achievement and a license to overindulge due to “good behaviour” at Christmas.
Whilst some people are OK with this method, the reason I consider it to be a pitfall for most, is because it encourages yoyo dieting and unhealthy relationships with food.
Healthy living is a lifestyle approach and usually the diet you consume to lose weight, ends up being the resultant energy intake, required to maintain your weight. Therefore, taking a drastic approach with a temporary mindset is not conducive to sustainable long-term improvements and gains in health.
So, ready to achieve your goals?
The steps to take:
Be clear on what you want to achieve, write it down and make sure your goal is realistic, well defined, measurable and you have a way to be accountable. When it comes to weight loss, instead of scale weight, which can be influenced by many factors, try using waist measurements or body fat %.
Plan: once you work out your goal, plan how you are going to achieve it. For example, if your goal is weight loss:
- Arrange social outings helpful to your goal, such as a walk with friends rather than having a long lunch filled with alcohol.
- Write a shopping list and purchase the foods you will consume. Gift any that no longer serve you.
- Plan some go to easy healthy meals for when life gets busy.
- Instead of using alcohol, plan other ways to unwind and relax.
Keep a food diary – for at least 3 days, to get an idea of your current calorie intake and then see what calorie cuts can be made without too much impact. For example, if you add both EVOO and nuts to salads, go with just 1 source of fat and this can save 100-200cals without being too noticeable.
Have a fluid mindset – this is so important. If you ‘slip up” don’t see this as a failure, instead learn from it and make a plan to avoid being in the same position. Be ok with “slip ups” and don’t see them as a reason to give up.
Be kind to yourself and celebrate your success – celebrations don’t need to involve food, why not buy a new dress, get a massage or take yourself on a nice bush walk.
Reassess regularly – progress is so motivating, so if you aren’t making progress, instead of keeping going on the same path, stop, reassess and work out what changes need to be made. For example, if you are sticking to a well-designed plan and you aren’t losing weight, it might be time to get a blood test to see if there are any hormonal factors holding you back.
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