Every week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.
Last week, you should have been writing down the measurements and calories for everything you ate. If you didn’t do that last week, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 2 and try again this week. If you DID write down everything you ate and your calorie amounts, good job! Now you have the information to help you move on to Week 3!
Find Your Daily Caloric Average
Add all your calories for the whole week and divide by 7. This will give you a daily caloric average.
Now, visit The USDA’s MyPyramid Site. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. Compare that number with your daily caloric average.
If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food.
If you are eating MORE than the USDA recommended amount, then this is the week you start to work on losing weight. I don’t recommend going down to the USDA daily calorie recommendations unless you are within 100 calories a day. Instead, take your daily caloric average, minus 100 calories and stay within that range this week.
This might sound easy, but it can be very difficult. When you take away, even if it’s only by 100 calories, you start to feel deprivation.
Avoid Feeling Deprived
Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. This is different for every person, so I can’t really tell you what your magical activity will be, but here are a few ideas:
Give yourself 30 minutes to do whatever you want: Reserve that time and don’t let anything else get in your way. Read, play video games, crochet, whittle wood, whatever you want to do, give yourself at least a half hour to do it.
Take several nurture-breaks: Throughout your day at work, I’m sure there are times when you reach for food. I know I hit the vending machines or walked past the candy dish at those times of the day. Instead of eating, take 2-5 minutes to breathe deeply, call a friend or do some other activity to clear your mind and give yourself a break.
Watch TV Snack-Free: Every commercial seems to entice me to get up and check the fridge for some food. At commercial time, consciously do something else instead of eating. You can get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or even do a few exercises. Whatever you do, enjoy your television time without food.
I’m sure there are a million ways to nurture yourself without food. Please leave comments telling me your favorite way to reward yourself.
Eat three or four servings of fruits and vegetables every day
One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding three to four 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.
Save enough calories to eat one serving of dairy products each day
You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for one serving of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get one serving a day.
Increase Your Exercise
This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 1.0 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.
If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.
Give Yourself Kudos
If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.
See you next week!
The Short Version:
Reduce your daily caloric average by 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.
Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself.
Eat three or four servings of vegetables every day.
Save enough calories to eat one serving of dairy products each day.
Increase your mileage. Walk 1.0 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.
Give yourself kudos for coming this far.