13 Steps to Reach Weight Loss Goals in 2013
Happy New Year to all my Calorie Count friends! Have you made a New Year's Resolution (by the way, check out our cool infographic on the topic)? The truth is that many resolutions fail because they're unrealistic or just plain overwhelming. Why not try a different approach in 2013 by taking smaller steps? Here are suggestions of positive changes to make each month this year to help you on your way to your goal for 2013.
January: Clean out your kitchen of leftover holiday foods and temptation. Stock with healthy staples such as frozen or fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nut and nut butters, dried beans, seeds, condiments like olive oil, low-fat milk and yogurt, eggs, and so on.
February: You don’t need an expensive gym membership to get your workout on! During the cold winter months, make time for activity at home with an exercise DVD, or bundle up and schedule walks around your neighborhood with a buddy to keep you honest.
March: This is about the time people’s New Year’s Resolutions seem so far away and fall to the wayside. Keep a food log or a plain old pen and paper to stay accountable for what you’re eating and recognize where you need to make improvements.
April: Take the whole grains challenge and make three servings of grains every day whole – including brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and even air-popped popcorn. These foods help fill you up on fewer calories than refined grains and are not only beneficial for weight loss but can reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
May: It’s officially farmer’s market season! Make an effort to visit yours and incorporate a serving of a new fruit or vegetable every week. Choose produce from every color in the rainbow to get a variety of nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber.
June: Swap in lower sodium foods. Instead of deli meats or sausage at your barbecue, choose fresh grilled chicken, fish, or roast turkey to save on saturated fat and help reduce bloating for swimsuit season.
July: Stay hydrated with about 8-10 cups of water per day to keep your energy high and metabolism strong during sweltering summer months. Ditch sugary drinks like lemonade or soda and, instead add fresh fruit flavor to water using an infusion pitcher if the taste of plain water is unappealing.
August: Lazy, summer months, no more. Take advantage of more free time to be active with your family. Once per week, go on an outing such as going to a local park for a healthy picnic and nature walk or engaging in a family friendly sport like swimming or biking.
September: Just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean you can't learn new skills. Try a new exercise or cooking class to keep it interesting and keep you motivated for healthy habits.
October: Don’t save up all your “treats” for Halloween! It’s healthy and balanced to include all the foods you love in moderation into your diet. Otherwise, you’re more likely to overeat when you’re faced with them, like you may have overindulged in the past on October 31st.
November: Be savvy on the go and remember that "snack" isn’t a bad word. Always keep a nutritious snack on you, like nuts or an energy bar, as you gear up for the holiday season while shopping or traveling. Going more than 4-5 hours between meals can set you up to overeat or give into not so healthy options when you’re at the mall, airport, or rest stop.
December: Drink alcohol in moderation – 1 drink per day for women, 2 for men. As the holiday party season gets into the swing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to drink and add empty calories to your day. Brush up on best practices, lowest in calorie choices, and strategies to limit your alcohol intake so it doesn’t sabotage your healthy eating.
All Year Round: Reassess and revise as needed! You may try to make an improvement in your lifestyle but going to the gym for an hour every day isn’t realistic for you or you really dislike the new foods you’ve swapped in. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure and should give up hope. Take smaller steps and instead, figure out when you can fit in time for activity and what nutritious foods you do enjoy that you can include.
I'd love to hear from you:
What are your goals for 2013? How will you use Calorie Count to help you reach them?
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