Five tips to keep your new year's resolution to lose weight
It's probably the most commonly made new year's resolution: lose weight and get into shape. In early January, the gyms are full, the sports stores run out of equipment, and the streets are teeming with new joggers. Many of us promise ourselves to lose weight to start the new year, and usually, within a month or two, we have given up.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Dr. Michael Zemel, creator of the NuShape Brand all-natural weight-loss supplement, says that simple lifestyle changes are the key to losing weight and keeping it off. "People put too much pressure on themselves to change everything in their diets, which sets them up for failure," says Zemel. His advice? Set your sights on making several small dietary and lifestyle changes, and you'll lose weight without making major sacrifices. Losing weight doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Small, simple changes can produce the biggest results — he offers these five easy diet and exercise tips:
1. Say no to the elevator, when possible. Whether you are at work or the mall, choose the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you have to go up to the eighth floor, consider taking one flight of stairs up and then pressing the elevator button.
2. Bring your workout indoors. During the winter, sometimes it's hard getting outdoors. Squats, leg lifts, and walking lunges are great exercises to do indoors. For weight training, use 10-pound dumbbells for bicep curls or tricep extensions, using a chair for support.
3. Just add water. Drinking fruit juice is an easy way to chug down calories. But if you love the fruity taste, cut down your serving by mixing half the amount of juice with an equal amount of water — and say goodbye to 85 calories.
4. Downsize, don't super-size, fast food meals. Opt for a small order of fries instead of a large one with your fast-food meal (savings: over 300 calories). Another portion-control trick: Instead of placing serving bowls of food in the middle of the family dinner table, measure individual portions in the kitchen.
How easy is it to cut back 100 calories on a daily basis? One hundred calories equals:
- 1 cup of regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 ounce of cheese
5. Reward yourself for small changes. Most diets fail because people set high expectations and when they don't achieve their goals, they feel defeated. However, losing any amount of weight is good, even if you don't meet your goal at first. "Small successes are what you're looking for," says Zemel. Reward yourself with something that makes sense to you, such as a new dress or pair of jeans you've wanted to get into.