Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To Wiser New Year's Resolutions...

Think Now!

What were your New Year’s resolutions for 2011?

What did you achieve?

What is there left to do?

One of the things we carry from one year to another is dieting. Oh yes! Reaching that desired weight has never been easy and making changes in your life has never been really achieved. This year, it’s going to be different. I know you’ve said that for the past decade. But, hopefully, with our tips, you will be able to cross that item off your list.

Before making any changes, you should find out why you’re doing this. Then, you should know exactly what to do and how.

Why are you dieting? – Find a good reason

Sometimes, it’s because you have a wedding and you want to fit in that beautiful dress; other times, it’s because summer’s almost here and no swimsuit looks good with the extra fat; sometimes it’s because you heard a humiliating comment on how you’ve gained weight, etc. These are wrong reasons to diet because as soon as you lose the purpose, you lose the will! We always tend to focus on what we’re missing out on by dieting; however, we never think of what we’re gaining. So, this year, try to think of the benefits:

“I’m losing weight so I can be healthier” 

“I’m losing weight so I’d look better”

“I’m losing weight so I’d feel better about myself”, etc.

Find a sustainable reason to lose weight and it will keep you going!

What should you do? – Set reachable and meaningful goals

Imagine yourself road tripping with your friends, heading north. You have no specific destination, but you’re driving and all is well. You may reach Jbeil or you can go all the way to Tripoli. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s a fun ride! Well, it’s the same when you’re dieting. If you don’t have a number to reach, you will make a u-turn as soon as the road gets rocky. So, set a goal and work hard to reach it.

“I want to lose 10 kg by the end of 2012; 7kg in the first 6 months, and then I’ll take my time with the last 3 kg.”

It is very important to be realistic. No one should expect to lose 10kg in a month. It just doesn’t happen and you know very well that when someone fails at something they get really demotivated. So why pressure yourself into something that won’t work?

Also, don’t set too many goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself because you can’t change too many things at a time. You know that, in order to succeed, you must give full energy and focus to something. The more objectives you have, the less attention you can give to each one of them.

Finally, set deadlines to attain your targets. Write them down and open the envelopes every 3 months for example to see if you have reached them or not.

How should you do it?

I, personally, don’t believe in radical changes. Turning your life upside down was never easy or pleasurable. Why do it? Take it one step at a time and you’ll feel like you’ve done nothing while you would have gone a long way. If your eating habits are poorly organized, you can’t change them overnight. You can’t go from one meal a day to 4 in one giant leap! You can try to introduce breakfast, then lunch, then snacks. Or you can fix the quality of your food then the quantity. Any changes will give you results. You just need to make that first step and the rest will follow.

Quantify things: We always say “I should eat less chocolate”. Ok! What’s the definition of less chocolate? Is it one bar? 2? 3? Evaluate your consumption and give yourself a limited period of time to decrease it. Let’s say you eat 2 bars of chocolate per day; you can tell yourself that you’re going to start by having 1. When you maintain that for a couple of weeks, you can reduce it further to 3 times a week, and so on…

Keep a food journal: I know this sounds like a lot of work; however, keeping record of what you’re eating everyday can help you detect the small changes you can make.

Prepare yourself for obstacles: Thinking that the journey will be all rainbows and butterflies will only lead to failure. Know that there will be road blocks and that you will have to face downs. When you hit rock bottom, try to motivate yourself again and get yourself up. Stay away from negative thinking because it never helped and it never will.

Ask for help: This was never a bad idea! And we’re not only talking about professional help but also your friends and family. Consulting with a dietitian is very important in order for him/her to assist you in the process; however, having support from the people you love is extremely motivating.

It’s not easy to make lifestyle changes, but it’s not hard when you do it the right way. Don’t forget to stay positive and reward yourself from time to time for a job well done.

Happy New Year and Happy New Resolutions! :D

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