The holiday season is typically a time of indulgence, when waistbands are expanded and people throw caution to the winds. However, come January, it’s time to get back on the horse (or rowing machine) to try and lose those extra pounds. It can be difficult to restart your engine, but these steps can help you overcome your weight-loss obstacles, regardless of your sex.
Start strength training
Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when at rest. To maintain your strength, do a strength-training routine two-to-three times per week if you want to improve your strength.
Put tempting foods out of sight, out of mind
We naturally gravitate toward foods that are easiest to reach. So put candy on a high shelf or inside another bag behind something else so you’ll be less likely to grab. Put smarter choices, such as fresh fruit or popcorn, in bowls where they’re visible and within arm’s reach. Keep a water bottle with you so you won’t have to rummage through the fridge or walk to a vending area to get a drink.
Keep a journal
Most of us overestimate how active we are and underestimate how much we eat. Studies have shown that keeping a food diary can double your weight loss. Writing everything down, even for a short period of time, is the best way to stay mindful of what, how much and also why you’re eating.
Personalize your portions. If you’re a woman eating with a man, customize your portions to suit your body’s needs, says Sass. That might mean more veggies and smaller servings of protein and foods with starch and fat. For example, on burrito night, skip the tortilla in favor of a bed of greens, and stick to a piece of lean protein the size of a smartphone, a small scoop of a healthful starch such as brown rice and a dollop of guacamole.
Halt bad eating habits. Before you cave to the crave, hit the pause button, recommends Pamela Peeke, author of the bestseller “The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.” Ask yourself: “Am I hungry? Angry? Anxious? Lonely? Tired?” Get in touch with your emotions and ask, “Am I’m emotional right now? Am I about to knee-jerk into overeating?”
Ideally, get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, no less than six. Compromising sleep will cause your appetite and hunger hormones to get out of whack and prompt you to overeat.
Meditate. Do some form of introspective activity each day to stay in touch with feelings and adjust to stresses.
Plan ahead. Always pack your own “safe” and tasty foods when you’re away from home so you’re not prone to eating unhealthful foods — or oversized portions — because that’s all that’s available.
Don’t get too hungry
Eat every three to four hours. If you’re too hungry, you’re more likely to cave to cues and triggers that cause you to overeat.
Avoid staying sedentary all day long. Walk, stand and move around as much as possible to increase the secretion of mood modulator hormones such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine. Simple moderate-intensity activities such as walking will help rein in appetite and help you stay energized.