If your New Year’s resolution was to eat better and maybe lose weight in 2015 but you find that you’ve actually been eating more rather than less this year, don’t worry. You’re not alone. A recent study found that, most of us actually buy more food (defined as calories per serving) in the first three months of the year than at any other time during the year; including the holiday season. According to researchers, the issue is not that we aren’t trying to eat healthier in the New Year. In fact, the study found that many of us actually do buy healthier food at the beginning of the year. The problem is that we’re simply unable to give up the treats we enjoyed during the holiday season and are now buying them along with the healthier foods. So, rather than losing weight after the holidays, many of us are actually gaining weight. Okay, so now that you know what’s happening, here’s what you can do about it.
- MAKE A PLAN: You’ve probably heard the old saying that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Well, it certainly applies here. To increase your chances of success, plan out your meals and snacks, make a grocery list based on this plan and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list. This will prevent you from buying what you don’t want, stopping for fast food instead of eating a healthy dinner or grabbing a bag of chips or cookies when you’re shopping for other items.
- CREATE A FOOD DIARY: One of the best ways to ensure you stick to your diet is keep track of everything you eat. Create a journal and write down everything single thing you eat, every single day – no exceptions. Then, review it regularly and pay particular attention to how often you deviated from your diet. This will help to keep you focused.
- TELL YOUR FRIENDS: Having the support of friends or family is another great way to stay motivated and on track. Find someone you trust and share your food diary and progress with them on a regular basis. Knowing that someone understands your goals and that you are somewhat accountable to this person will help you stay on track.
- DON’T EAT MINDLESSLY: In addition to creating a meal plan, try to stick to a set schedule for eating meals and snacks. You may not know this but we tend to eat more if we’re doing other things, such as working or watching TV, while we’re eating. Instead, take the time to sit down and eat your meals without doing anything else. While this can be difficult to do, both because we’re all so busy these days and because most of us are just used to “multi-tasking”, it can make a significant difference.
- DON’T PUNISH YOURSELF: One of the reasons many people fail to stick to a new diet is that they make it so harsh that sticking to it is all but impossible. In some cases, they end up resenting it. Remember, eating healthy doesn’t mean never eating the things you like. Allow yourself one favourite food a day or one treat a week. This will help you stick to your diet and it will help cut down on cravings.
Anyone who has ever tried change their diet knows just how tough it can be. If you’ve made that commitment but find you’ve been struggling so far, don’t give up. With a clear but reasonable plan, the right supports and a little will power, you can achieve success. Of course, if you need a little help with putting together a plan for achieving your goals, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.