Taking Baby Steps to Losing Weight

The first three letters in the word diet are D-I-E. Unappealing as that may be, losing weight is the second most popular New Year’s resolution year-in and year-out. We think it’s safe to assume that a big reason it tops lists year after year is because seventy five percent of people throw up their hands in defeat after a month or two of making their resolutions. Make this the year you really do make good on your goal to lose unwanted weight, or just to get back into shape. The process doesn’t have to be painful. As long as you take consistent steps every day, then even small steps will add up.

Sarah on “The Power of Positive vs. Negative Phrasing”

“Resolutions, and particularly resolutions related to losing weight, tend to be focused on the negative (stop eating like a cow, eliminate your spendthrift ways) rather than the positive. I don’t know about you, but for some reason, when I tell myself I can’t or shouldn’t do something my brain decides to put up a fight, passively wanting to do the opposite of anything I have chosen to strive for. Isn’t it crazy how that sometimes works? So this year, I am trying a new twist on the whole resolution thing. Instead of coming up with a list of “I won’t” statements I have decided to compile a list of “I will” ones. Psychologically, wording a resolution can make a world of difference in how we respond in our behaviors. Here are some examples below. Take a few minutes and transform your negative resolutions into positive ones today.
• Instead of ‘I won’t eat junk food’ try ‘I will treat myself to one sweet snack every other day.’
• Instead of ‘I won’t ever skip a weekday workout’ try ‘I will do something active for at least thirty minutes Monday-Friday.’
• Instead of ‘I won’t watch as much TV’ try ‘I will watch TV for at most one hour a day’.”

Alicia on “Plan for Imperfection”

“Trust me, one thing you can count on if you’re dieting is that you will have a weak moment. All too often, people feel that if they succumb to the siren call of a cookie (or three) that they have failed and they might as well give up. That’s just plain crazy. Don’t let a moment or two of weakness derail your overall effort. Instead, have one or two things that you can do immediately after a weak moment to get yourself back on track. You might want to take a brisk ten minute walk, call a diet buddy who can talk you off the ledge, or ”

Here are a few more ways to take baby steps towards losing weight or getting in shape in the coming year.

1. Slow Down…and Savor.

Your brain doesn’t know it is full until 20 minutes after it actually is. Rather than inhaling your food in record time, simply slow down. Eat half of what is on your plate, wait ten minutes, and if you’re still hungry, eat half of what is left, and wait another ten minutes. Slowing down and savoring your food is a pain-free way to eat less, which adds up to more pounds over time.

2. Switch to Water.

Switching from soda to water can save the average person 360 calories a day, according to registered dietitian Kathleen Goodwin. It’s one small step that, over weeks and months, adds up to lots of pounds.

3. Plan for Success.

To the extent possible, remove temptation from your home. Throw out or give away high-calorie snacks and sodas. Make sure your pantry is stocked with 100-calorie snack packs. And take five minutes on Sunday night to cut up two vegetables and store the slices in small Ziploc® bags, so healthy snacks will be ready for you when you’re hungry.