The New Year is finally here, so what are you aiming for in 2013? The word “diet” is what comes to so many people’s minds. When I asked 10 people what their New Year’s goal was going to be, all the goals all stemmed from “diet.” If this is something that has rolled off your lips, please first change your thoughts by changing your choice of words. If you just listen to how that word sounds or looks, doesn’t it look daunting?! Change the word to something more appealing such as “start living” or “incorporate more delicious foods,” “feel invigorated.” Now, of course, those each need to be a bit more specific but doesn’t the overall goal now sound inviting?!
When most people think of “dieting,” the thought of deprivation, limited food sources, relentless cravings and boredom comes to mind. When you “diet,” this is typically its outcome, but it doesn’t have to be that way! When you start living and learn to incorporate healthy foods, you will feel invigorated and see that “dieting” isn’t so bad after all! It isn’t about restricting yourself, but rather learning how to make better choices. Eating less is not typically the answer; eating differently is. Fad diets will have so much more of a negative impact on your longevity than you can even fathom. If fitting into your skinny jeans is your goal, you can do it without risking your health. You can do it! Rather than taking on the next best “diet,” learn the tools you have to embrace to start living! If you are striving for permanent success once and for all, please don’t diet in 2013! Dieting may lead to short-term success, but who wants to put in all the work and suffering for temporary changes and at the cost of your health? Invest your time and energy into creating new habits that will lead you to long-term success!
Use these 8 tips to help you with your goals in 2013!
1. START SMALL. Gradual changes will lead to big results. Don’t completely cut everything out, start with the ½ Rule. If you really want a little unhealthy food once in a while, it’s OK. If you deprive yourself too much, that may lead you to binge more frequently! Use the ½ Rule. Want that piece of cake? Cut it in half. Want that chocolate bar? Cut it in half. Want that bagel? Cut it in half. Want that bowl of pasta? Cut the serving in half!
2. SERVING SIZES. Understand a serving size. Often, people don’t even know what a serving size looks like. A good rule of thumb:
FIST = 1 CUP
PALM = 3 OZ
THUMB = 1 OZ OR 1 TBSP
TIP OF THUMP = 1 TSP
3. RECORD. Taking note of what you put into your mouth and the type of activity you do will greatly help in your journey. Understanding what it is you do, what you eat and most of all being able to reflect on your past will help you in your future.
4. READ LABELS. Reading food labels is key to understanding the quality that goes into your mouth. It is not only about the nutrition facts but also— and almost more important— it is the ingredients list. If you can’t read an ingredient, most likely it is not meant to be eaten. Rule of thumb: All ingredients are listed in order from greatest to least, so if sugar is number one and whole grain is number four, that product has four times as much sugar than whole grain and is not the best choice.
5. COOK AT HOME. Food is never as healthy as when you prepare it yourself. Learn how to cook so you can enjoy home-cooked meals and truly trust what you are eating.
6. FATS. Eat fat but the right kinds. Remember not all fat is created equal. Eat good fats from unsaturated sources.
7. HYDRATE. Drinking water is essential and water should be sipped on throughout the day for hydration and proper bodily functions, energy and vitality! Rule of thumb: drink half your body weight in ounces.
8. EXERCISE. We cannot forget to include exercise as a huge component of our daily routine! Exercise is so important to burn calories, increase metabolism but most important for heart health. No matter what it is you do, do something daily to get your heart rate up!
As you tackle your goals in 2013, remember this:
You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
You don’t have to exercise like crazy, you must just exercise, period.
Here is to a happy and healthy 2013!