By: Tayler Glenn
Before you swear off dessert for good and promise to commit to the latest fad diet trend (we’re looking at you, keto), take a step back. Those types of goals might seem inspiring at first, but they’re just not realistic if you really want to drop those extra pounds. This year, let’s ditch the unrealistic resolutions for these five smarter ones that’ll actually help you lose weight!
2018 saw a slow but steady kind of diet exhaustion set in and, despite the number of obese individuals in the U.S steadily rising, the number of people sticking with their weight loss goals is steadily dropping. Just ask anyone who’s tried to diet in the past year and they’ll tell you why: the mental burden of calorie restriction and unsustainable habits is utterly exhausting and actually making it harder to lose weight successfully.
All of us here at TLS Weight Loss Solution know that the fad diets and constant setbacks are only standing in the way of the crucial role that a healthy relationship with food play in your overall health – mental and physical. So here is your permission to swap the obsession with caloric restriction and yo-yo diets for these 5 five smarter resolutions that’ll actually help you lose weight while getting healthier mentally and physically, too!
I Will Cut Back On Added Sugar
The American obsession with sugary foods, drinks, and…well, everything is something we’re ready to leave behind in 2018. While sugar as a whole tends to be labeled as “bad”, it’s really the added sugars that are causing the most harm. The natural sugars – the ones found in fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs – are providing your body with essential nutrients as well that shouldn’t be cut out of your diet.
Added sugars, on the other hand, offer only empty calories that cause blood sugar spikes and the dreaded sugar crash, and Americans are getting way too much of it. According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) for men and 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons) for women. These numbers may sound like a lot, but can easily be passed with a single can of Coke!
By cutting these empty calories out of your diet, you make room for whole, nutritious foods that provide the nutrition your body actually needs! Not only will this help you lose weight, but you’ll feel better overall.
I Will Get 8 Hours of Sleep Each Night
Sleep is often overlooked as a part of a healthy lifestyle and pretty much ignored in terms of meeting weight loss goals, but it shouldn’t be! Not getting enough sleep can cause you to crave more sugary, carb-loaded, and unhealthy foods since your body wants easy, quick fuel to make up for your lack of shut-eye.
A few tips? Try shutting off all of your screens an hour or two before you turn in for the night and try to avoid caffeine after 2 or 3 in the afternoon. It also helps to keep your room dark and cool, somewhere around 67 degrees!
I Will Cook More At Home
As fun as it is to go out to eat (and not have to do the dishes), the convenience comes at a price. People who cook meals at home 5 nights per week are 28% less likely to have an overweight BMI, according to research done by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Why?
When you eat out, you’re generally eating foods with more unhealthy fats, carbs, and sodium and you’re usually being served 2 or more times a normal portion size. Conversely, eating at home gives you complete control of the ingredients going into your dish which is immensely helpful when you’re trying to get a handle on your diet.
If you’re a little unsure in the kitchen, you can find some amazing recipes on the blog here! And don’t forget to take advantage of convenient, healthy foods like pre-cooked chicken, frozen veggies, and steamable rice. These options are great ways to make fuss-free, delicious family meals!
I Will Share My Healthy Journey
Sharing your goals and your journey on the way to reaching them is a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself on track. When you’re sharing that picture of your 5k training runs and those post-leg day selfies, a study from American University in Washington, D.C shows that you think of yourself as a fitter and more capable person, making you more likely to hit your target.
And those setbacks? Even posting about those can help keep you motivated, especially if you have a community around you to help get you motivated and back on your feet!
I Will Put the Scale Into Perspective
The scale is a valuable accountability tool, quick to remind you what happens when you eat the entire bag of super-salty tortilla chips. What it doesn’t accurately represent are the really important factors such as changes in body composition, water retention, and important improvements in your overall health!
Hyper-focusing on the scale is a common problem for most people trying to lose weight that can cause them to feel terrible about themselves when they aren’t seeing the results of their hard work. These kinds of psychological effects can really set you back by causing you to fall into unhealthy habits to alleviate negative feelings or even throw in the towel completely!
Long story short: Go ahead and weigh yourself, but also note less tangible measures, like how you feel and how your jeans fit so you can eliminate the power of your relation to gravity and the dread of stepping on that metal box.
What are your plans to lose weight in 2019 & how do you plan on sticking to them this year?