If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and get healthy, the following seven strategies will get you started in the right direction! Based on the guidelines in my brand-new paperback book, “Your Inner Skinny: Four Steps to Thin Forever” (previously published in hardcover as “Joy’s LIFE Diet”), these no-nonsense weight-loss tips will guarantee impressive results.
Get your head in the game
As I always say, losing weight is 50 percent attitude. All of the successful dieters I’ve worked with claim that they had to really want it, to know in their hearts that they would succeed this time. Success starts in the head, moves to the heart, and only lastly involves the mouth and stomach.
Step up incidental activity
By increasing your number of steps, stairs and lifts, you can significantly increase your calorie burn. Perhaps you’re familiar with some of the more common recommendations for increasing your daily activity: parking your car further from the building, taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, and so forth. If you’re already doing that … great! Here a few fresh suggestions on how to work more movement into everyday life.
- Take the trash cans and recycling bins to the curb one at a time (instead of two or three at once). Bring your groceries into the house one or two bags at a time, instead of by the fistful. It may seem inefficient, but it’s a lot easier to squeeze in a few minutes of activity at times like this than to set aside 30 minutes for planned exercise.
- I think we’re all guilty of using our kids and spouses for “free labor,” especially when we’re tired. We ask them to answer the phone, turn off the light, throw us the remote, get the mail, etc. Instead of asking someone else to do these mindless tasks for you, take them on yourself. The extra calories burned will really add up.
- Walk and talk. Thanks to cordless phones and cell phones, we now get to enjoy the freedom of movement while we chat. Use the time you spend talking on the phone at work or home as a chance to move around a bit — pace around the room, walk up and down the stairs, or go for a walk around the block while you catch up with loved ones or gossip about your favorite TV shows.
- Try my TV workout. Instead of sitting flopped on the couch during a 30-minute sitcom, follow along with my simple routine!
Lose liquid calories
It’s incredibly easy to guzzle down thousands of calories from frou-frou coffee drinks, flavored waters, fruit juice and soda! To make matters worse, these calorific beverages do not fill you up the same way solid food does. So say goodbye to all brands of soda, sweetened iced teas, fruit juices and calorific coffee concoctions. Instead drink water, plain or flavored seltzer and unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) coffee and tea.
Start dinner with a veggie first course
Beginning dinner with a nonstarchy vegetable (like a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup, a large tossed salad with reduced-fat dressing or something as simple as a sliced cucumber or tomato) can slash your dinner calories by 20 percent! That’s because this vegetable first course is loaded with fiber and water, so it expands in your belly and starts to fill you up fast … making it likely you’ll cut back on portions at your main meal.
Strike starch at dinner
I recommend that you completely omit the starchy carbs — like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice — for the first few weeks on your diet plan (and then a few nights each week going forward). In their place, enjoy plenty of lean protein and pile on heaps of nonstarchy veggies. Your dinner calories (and the numbers on your scale) will drop significantly.
Research shows that you eat about 60 fewer calories per meal when you slow down your pace. Use this strategy at all three meals, and you’ll save 180 calories per day. That’s about 20 pounds lost at the end of the year from this one simple change!
Close the kitchen after dinner
Late-night munching is one of the most common diet mistakes. If you cut out nighttime snacking for one week, you can save major calories! And you’ll be on your way to feeling thinner and lighter.
For more information on losing weight and healthy eating, visit www.joybauer.com
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