This is the last 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.
If you have been following the plan from the beginning and have been able to keep up, then I only have two more jobs for you. If you haven’t you can start fresh here: New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1.
Get Support and Accountability
This will be the difference between success and failure. You need accountability at the scale and support when things are hard. Join Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group if you have to. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire. Whatever it takes to make sure that you have support and accountability.
If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, you just need to keep on keeping on.
Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day
Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.
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. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.
Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day
We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.
Lean Proteins and Whole Grains
Manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.
Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day
The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.
Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.
Eat five 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 four to five 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 two servings of dairy products each day
You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings 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 two servings a day.
Increase Your Exercise
You should be walking 2.0 miles five days a week. Now is the time to increase your speed. Here are some tips to get you started:
I want you to exercise at the same time every day. Consistency is key. Now is the time to work on your speed, but getting your workout in every day is the most important thing you can do.
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.
This is the final week of the series. It is imperative that you get support to help you through this journey, because from here on in, it’s just continuing the good habits you have been developing over the last two months.
The Short Version:
Get support and accountability: Join WW, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire.
If you aren’t at your recommended daily caloric average, reduce it by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.
Choose lean protein and whole grains.
Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.
Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.
Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.
Increase your speed. Walk/run 2.0 miles five days this week. Remember consistency is more important than speed, but you need to make sure you’re pushing yourself.
Give yourself kudos for coming this far.