Tips to Keep Your Diet Resolution

You’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat a healthy diet and to stay on it. Now what? Where do you begin and how do you keep your promise to yourself? First see your doctor for a complete physical. Find out if you have high blood pressure, are at risk for diabetes, have high cholesterol or any other health condition that should be addressed before starting a weight-loss program. Next, take advantage of support groups and supportive friends and family to help you stay the course and reach your weight-loss goals. A dietitian can help you plan meals. A personal trainer can help you to exercise safely and effectively to achieve your goals.
Photo Credit: Evan-Amos, PD
Clean out your refrigerator, your freezer and your pantry. Get rid high calorie fatty foods. Remove potato chips, French fries, ice cream, candy and cakes. Replace these foods with fruits, vegetables, low-fat yogurt , whole grains and nuts. It’s okay to treat yourself to a few potato chips from time to time, however if they are readily available you will be more likely to over-indulge which can undermine your weight-loss goals and make you feel guilty. Buy a healthy-diet cookbook and try some new recipes to add variety to your diet.
Start a food diary and write down everything you eat and drink every day. Also write down how much you consume. Carry your diary with you so that you don’t forget to log you meals and snacks. You will be more aware of the foods you eat. You are probably unaware of just how much food, drinks and snacks you consume on a daily basis. Being aware of your food intake can help you to monitor calories and manage your weight-loss plan. 
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before every meal or snack. Water keeps your body hydrated. Water is essential for healthy organs and digestion. If plain water is too boring, try flavored waters and sugar-free sports drinks to help replenish water and electrolytes. 

Don’t skip breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast of whole grains, fruits, eggs and low-fat milk can help jump start your metabolism to burn calories all day long. It’s okay to eat your favorite foods. You don’t have to deprive yourself of cookies or pizza. The key to managing your weight-loss program and staying on a diet is to limit the portions and frequency of treats. Buy pizza by the slice instead of a whole pie. Avoid buying a box of cookies or doughnuts and buy just one treat instead.

Trade pasta for vegetables as a side dish. Instead of a serving of macaroni and cheese try some delicious steamed broccoli or grilled mixed vegetables. Use light oils such as olive oil instead of butter to help flavor your foods. Leave the snacks in the pantry when you relax in front of the television. It’s easy to consume a bag of chips or a bowl of popcorn while watching the television. Keep a bowl of fruit or nuts on the table to satisfy your snack urge while enjoying your favorite television program.

Forget about losing weight over-night. You can lose one to two pounds each week by sticking to a healthy weight-loss diet and moderate exercise like walking. Set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away. Losing weight takes time and commitment, but the results will be worth the effort.

For more information about healthy diets, see:

Mayo Clinic, Healthy Diets, 2011

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