Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. 5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Resolutions

    It’s December – the time of year that we go about gathering gifts for our loved ones. This year, how about starting with something for yourself? Commit to getting a jump start on your resolutions by giving yourself the gift of health. These five tips will get you started:

    1) Start where you want to end and work backwards.

    If you want to be 15 pounds lighter by April, and that’s 12 weeks away, you should aim to lose 1.25 pounds per week or 5 pounds a month. Remember that a healthy rate of weight loss is ½ - 2 pounds per week or 10% of body weight over 6 months.

    Breaking up your long-term goal into smaller, more attainable goals is more realistic. And speaking of goals…

    2) Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

    Make sure your goals are Specific, Measureable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-framed.

    Specific: When will you start? What will you focus on? How will you do it?

    Measurable: How often will you do this? How much will you do? What will you track and how?

    Action-oriented: What eating or behavior will you change? Focus on a behavior that you can change rather than a feeling or a thought.

    Realistic: Can you see yourself completing this goal? Be honest! Setting small goals that are achievable is a strong motivator and a positive way for you to track your progress.

    Time-framed: How long will it take you to reach your goal?

    Below you’ll see some examples of S.M.A.R.T. Goals:

    Do you skip breakfast? Try this goal: Every day this week, I will eat a well-balanced 250-300 calorie breakfast at 7 AM. (Be even more specific by identifying exactly what you will eat.)

    Do you tend to overeat at mealtimes? Try this goal: I will avoid second helpings during meals every day this week. Instead I will have a pre-planned 100 calorie snack if I feel hungry later.

    3) Survey your resources

    Do you have a spouse or friend who also wants to lose weight? Do you have access to a health club or a piece of gym equipment gathering dust in your attic? Is there a weekly farmers market or coop that you can take advantage of? Look around you and survey the resources you have available in your quest for health. You might be surprised by what - and whom - you find to help you along the way.

    4) Move more

    You’ve heard it before and it still applies. Moving more burns more calories, and caloric deficit equals weight-loss. Did you know that 3500 calories equals one pound? So to lose one pound per week, you need to create a daily deficit of 500 calories (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories). The easiest way to move more is to WALK more. Try these ideas to boost your daily activity level (DAL) through walking:

    • Walk to work or the store, if you can. If it’s too far, walk to a train or bus. You’ll save gas money and burn extra calories!
    • Go for a “walking meeting” instead of meeting at a co-worker’s office.
    • Take a 10-minute walk after lunch – this will re-energize you for afternoon tasks!
    • Walk around the field or rink while watching your kids’ sports practice.
    • Make a date with a friend or neighbor to walk – accountability helps.
    • Invest in a Fitbit or pedometer and set a daily goal – tracking your steps will motivate you.

    5) Exercise Common Sense

    Perhaps most importantly, don’t throw common sense out the window this holiday season. Figure out your calorie goal (here) and have a plan! Plan your meals for the week or just the day – whatever works best for you. Or, try a healthy meal delivery service, which takes the guess work out of calorie counting and healthy cooking. Eat your meals at a regular time each day to avoid blood sugar (and energy) highs and lows.

    Along with nutritionally balanced meals eaten at regular times, have protein-rich snacks around for when hunger strikes. Research shows that protein satisfies hunger better than carbohydrates and fat. This means that including protein with your meals and snacks can help you feel fuller longer, helping with weight control. Try these snack ideas, which combine produce and protein:

    • Hard-boiled egg and baby carrots
    • Part-skim cheese stick and cherry tomatoes
    • Apples slices with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
    • Greek yogurt with strawberries

    With January 1st right around the corner, why not get a jump start on your health goals for the New Year?

    “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin



    Author: Kristen Ciuba
    Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!  


    Surviving the Holidays
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