If you’re among the many Americans who put on weight during the final months of the year here are some things you can do to make this the year you lose a little weight instead of gaining it.
1. Pull out your calendar – either a paper or digital – Add any parties or other events you are planning to attend between Nov 1st and December 31st. The more days you highlighted the more planning to stay on track will be necessary. If you only have one or two events plus Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day you really don’t have to worry too much. What matters to your weight isn’t the few special days, it is what you do most days.
2. Step it up. Use a pedometer to count your steps. Try to take at least 10,000 every day. Pedometers can be purchased cheap at stores such as Dick’s or you can download a free app for your smartphone. Adding steps by taking the stairs and walking backwards (yes! walking backwards because it works different muscles) increases the effectiveness!
3. Make it a habit to go to bed on time so that you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep. You might question this one. What does sleep have to do with weight loss? It has a lot from helping to regulate your hunger (ghrelin) and fullness (leptin) hormones to keeping your head clear and focused so you can make better choices.
4. Don’t skip meals, not even on party days or holidays. Skipping meals in anticipation of eating a lot at a party or holiday meal backfires far more often than it works. Allowing yourself to get too hungry is a good way of losing control. Of course, you’ll want to eat a little more on those occasions and you can, but you will find it easier to avoid eating way too much if you don’t go into it with a very empty belly.
5. Keep your eye on the prize. You can start 2016 lighter than you were in 2015. Don’t doubt it and don’t forget it.
Remind yourself that you can do it and why you want to do it! If you feel challenged, try some crazy strategies, but most of all, stay confident! Confidence pays off!