What’s the healthiest day of the week? Research shows that Monday is the day we most have health on the brain, so why not capitalize on that mentality and harness the power of Monday to help you meet your weight loss goals each week? Start with these simple tips:
Planning is critical to success. Setting specific and attainable goals for your exercise routines and meals each week will prove more effective than making vague promises to “eat healthier” or “exercise more.” Take a few minutes every Monday to consider your schedule for the upcoming week. Then plan your meals and determine the best times to fit in your workouts.
Design a specific regimen and write your meals and workouts into your calendar just as you would with other engagements. Be as specific as possible! Add detail, even down to ingredients you need at the store, or exercises you will perform in each workout.
Designating one day a week to go meatless provides a manageable framework for reducing your overall caloric intake. Plant-based options like fruits, beans and whole grains tend to be lower in fat and calories than meat, and they’re also chock-full of satiating fiber.
Having a Meatless Monday will allow you to confidently enjoy the occasions when you do consume meat, and you’ll likely discover some new vegetarian favorites that you can incorporate into your everyday diet.
Don’t let a bad week become the reason your resolution fails. Regardless of how well you stuck to your diet and exercise plan the previous week, you can still determine the success of your current one. Allowing yourself a clean slate every Monday provides a renewable opportunity for you to get back on track. Monday is the January of the week, after all!
While you're at it, don't let any single misstep create a domino effect on your week or day. One not so healthy choice, is just that - one not so healthy choice. Keep it that way, and you're making progress towards a healthier you!
At the beginning of each week, seek support from those with similar goals. Check in with family, coworkers, or an organized group – whatever works for you. Take the time to jointly celebrate previous successes and talk about your goals for the future. Don’t forget to discuss situations that may present a problem or deter you from your goals. Fostering a system of support and accountability provides motivation to stick to your plan and achieve your weekly targets.
Get to know each other and what motivates you. Push each other, and keep one another in check. You might even add a bit of friendly competition!
Resolving to walk a mile every Monday isn’t just a fantastic way to squeeze in a few extra minutes of physical activity; it can also provide context for sticking with some of your other healthy habits.
Make the Monday Mile a standing weekly engagement with family, friends or coworkers. Then, use that time to not only get your heart pumping but also check in with your support partners, stop by a vegetarian lunch joint, or talk about a new exercise class or healthy recipe you’re planning to try.
Author: Diana K. Rice, RD
Diana K. Rice, RD is the registered dietitian on staff with The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative that promotes, Meatless Monday and other efforts to prompt healthy behavior changes on the first day of the week. Based in New York City, she is an advocate for sustainable agriculture, plant-based eating and children’s nutrition education.