Julie Fortenberry, RD, LDN
Was your New Year’s resolution to lose weight in 2017? Research shows that most resolutions go down the drain within the first month or two after January 1st. Staying on track is tough, but it’s not impossible. To reach your goal, you have to actively set yourself up for success. Here are a few tips to lose weight in 2017:
Set Realistic Goals
Remember it did not take you two weeks to gain those extra 35 pounds and it will definitely not take you two weeks to lose it! You gradually gained this weight over several months or even years. Remember that weight loss and maintaining healthy weight is a commitment for the long haul. It takes time to create new, healthy habits, which will eventually turn your “diet” into a healthy lifestyle! Keep in mind, healthy fat loss is 1-2 pounds per week.
Make small changes every week, and they will add up over time. Commit to making weekly changes that will help you down the road. Here are some examples of weekly changes you can incorporate into mini-goals:
- Week One: Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
- Week Two: Walk 30 minutes twice this week.
- Week Three: Replace one processed food with one fresh item (swap chips for fruit).
- Week Four: Eliminate fried foods
One bad meal won’t torch your efforts but habitual poor choices will. The best way to look at food is as a “sometimes food” and not a “never food”. Choose healthy options the majority of the time with a few indulgences here and there and it’s more sustainable than an “all or nothing” mentality.
Don’t Cut Out Entire Food Groups
Another way to sabotage your weight loss efforts is by cutting out an entire food group. Many times when people are trying to lose weight, they cut too much out that they can’t sustain for any length of time. The point of making a resolution is to implement healthier habits that will stick in the long term. Remember to consume everything in moderation for healthier and more sustainable results.
Keep a detailed record of your weight loss, dietary intake and how you are feeling. By keeping a wellness journal, you will be able to see what you’re consuming, where your problem areas are, and how your emotional state is. Paying attention to this will help you maintain your weight this year.
Decide what is best for YOU and YOUR body
It is tempting to fall into the trap of doing what is popular. Your best friends may eliminate gluten, sugar, dairy or processed foods in order to reach their goals. However, these may not be problem areas for you and eliminating these foods may not be your magic solution. Your best bet is to determine what will work for you now and continue five years down the road. By doing so, you will find the “magic” that works best for you.
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Julie Fortenberry is a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Julie believes that lifestyle changes and wholesome nutrition are obtainable, and brings real-life understanding to wellness and nutritional counseling.