You want to lose weight, be healthier and feel better. But what are the steps you can take this year to help you realize your goals?
Rather than doing a complete lifestyle makeover, we instead recommend taking the small, baby steps that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Here are some tips to guide you:
1. Start your day right. If you're serious about losing weight, begin each day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast will help you start your day right as you fuel it when your body needs it most. You'll keep your energy level high and even your mood will be more stable. Healthy breakfasts don't need lots of prep time – consider convenient breakfasts like oatmeal or a high-fiber cold cereal with skim milk and fruit, whole grain toast with peanut butter or light cottage cheese or whole grain waffles and berries.
2. Be a track star! Tracking your weight on a regular basis and your food intake and daily activity levels will help you stay on that healthy weight loss track. Tracking helps you to stay mindful about the goals you are trying to achieve. And just the act of tracking has been shown to help dieters lose more weight. If you're short on time, feel free to do your tracking the old-fashioned way – with paper and pen.
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3. Read those labels. Taking some time while grocery shopping to compare labels will help you choose the foods that will make losing weight easier. Doing your homework can save you 100 calories by choosing light cranberry juice rather than regular and another 50 calories per slice by choosing a lower-calorie bread with more fiber. These calorie savings really add up over time. Use the Internet to look up the calorie levels of your favorite restaurant foods. By ordering your Starbucks latte as a Skinny or your Subway sandwich without cheese or mayonnaise, you'll save hundreds of calories!
4. Engage in lifestyle activities. Change your perception of exercise and include the "a" word – activity. For the days you can't get to the gym or do your full workout, commit to engaging in a brisk walking program. Burn extra calories by walking to mail a letter, parking your car farther away at the mall, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a walking break at work instead of a coffee break. You’ll burn more calories and lose more weight.