Goal Setting for a Healthy Weight
To turn your weight loss ambitions into success, create goals that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle in small, manageable steps. Develop your weight loss goals with these SMART guidelines:
Specific: Write down the details of exactly what you would like to accomplish. Where? When? Why? How? Set a basis for tracking your progress.
Measurable: Think in both the long and short term. Set weekly and monthly goals
to keep yourself on track.
Attainable: Consider your expectations and personal situation. It’s great to aim
high, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
Relevant: Is this change important to you right now?
Timing: Choose a definite start and finish date to hold yourself accountable.
Setbacks will happen.
You’re human. Don’t let an overindulgence force you off the track. Instead:
– Use it as a learning opportunity. What can you do to prevent this from happening again?
– Keep a positive attitude. Making lifestyle changes is not easy, give yourself some
– Focus on the progress and changes you have made and continue to find strategies that work best for you.
Find a reliable support system.
Get your spouse, children, family, and friends on board with your goals. It can be easier to make lifestyle changes when you have others that you can rely on for support. Also try joining a community weight loss group or attending group fitness classes to meet others working towards similar goals.
Small Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle
Successful weight loss requires a healthy diet, regular exercise, and behavior change. While this may sound overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The key is making
small changes that become a lifestyle.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. They will fill you up and provide your body with many nutrients.
– Add volume to your morning eggs with spinach, onions, or mushrooms.
– Serve yourself less cereal in the morning and add fresh or frozen fruit.
– Lighten up your sandwich by replacing some of the meat and cheese with tomatoes, cucumbers, dark leafy greens, and onions.
– Bring cut-up fruit or vegetables with you on the go for a healthy snack.
To keep your food intake in check, try these tips to control your portions:
– Serve yourself one serving of the amount listed on the food label, and eat on a plate or bowl instead of out of the package.
– When eating out, immediately box up half of your meal.
– If you prepare a large recipe, freeze or store the leftovers for a future meal instead of going back for seconds.
– Eat slowly to allow your body to recognize when you are full.
– Be aware of appropriate serving sizes and use measuring cups to serve food.
What is a healthy portion?
1 tsp margarine=One dice
3 oz meat=Deck of cards
1 cup cooked pasta=A baseball
1.5 oz cheese=Three dice
1/2 cup fruit=A tennis ball
– Keep tempting foods out of the house!
– Stay out of the kitchen unless you are cooking.
– Have healthy snacks visible and ready to eat.
– Don’t eat at your desk.
-Have healthy snacks and water available
– Walk during your break.
– Eat every 4 hours, avoid skip meals.
At the table:
– Dish out your plate on the counter and leave serving dishes off of the table.
– Use smaller plates and bowls.
– Wait 20 minutes until going back for seconds.
Start slow and increase length and intensity as you can. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Every bit of movement adds up!
Two or three 10-15 minute bursts of activity can help you fit exercise into your day
Take the stairs! It may be tough at first, but your body will adjust quickly.
Join a team or choose an activity you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, sports can be a fun way to get your heart rate up and body moving Walk. Spend time with your family and/or pets with a walk after dinner each night.
Better Food Choices
Start with these tips that focus on making better food choices. As these strategies
become habits, work to set new goals for yourself to make more positive changes to
achieve a healthier weight.
Rather than reaching for candy or salty snacks, keep preportioned healthy options ready to grab in the cupboard or fridge to take with you. Try…
– A yogurt parfait with low-fat.
-Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.
– A banana or apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
– Cottage cheese with peas.
– Whole grain crackers and hummus.
– A handful of trail mix.
– A cheese stick and cherry tomatoes.
A healthier body weight will improve your overall health and well being. Creating a healthier lifestyle does not have to be difficult. Start with small changes and continue to focus on the big picture of living a healthier lifestyle, not just losing weight.
Before cooking, remove the skin from poultry and trim the fat off of beef, and chicken.
Enhance your lunch with a cup of warm soup or some fresh cut vegetables.
Mix it up!
Top your pizza with vegetables instead of high fat, high sodium foods. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
Choose whole grain products over refined white options. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta will provide you with more nutrients and fiber.
Drink water throughout the day and before each meal. Hydration is important and will keep you feeling full.
When baking, substitute half of the butter or oil with mashed ripe banana or applesauce to reduce the amount of fat.
Make a fruit smoothie when you are craving something sweet or need a quick breakfast. Blend low-fat milk, frozen fruit, and a banana.
Instead of reaching for chips and salsa, dip raw vegetables into salsa or fat-free ranch.
Add a splash of skim milk into your coffee instead of cream and/or sugar.
Spread mashed avocado on your sandwiches instead of mayo for some delicious healthy fats.
What is self monitoring?
It’s when you observe and record what you eat and when you exercise. It helps you to become more aware of your behaviors and how they keep you on track for weight loss success.
Record your weekly weight to monitor progress, but don’t let the number on the scale
discourage you. Be patient, but also mindful of additional lifestyle changes to consider if the number starts to creep up. Also, don’t weight yourself more than once
per week, as daily changes are not a good reflection of your progress.
Keeping track of every bite of food that goes into your mouth will allow you to realize what you are eating every day. Try to keep a small notebook with you and record the
food, amount, and the time when you are eating. It may also be helpful to use an app or your phone notebook.
Logging your exercise helps you create a new habit, and reminds you to get your heart rate up each day. You can exercise once per day or throughout the day to reach
your goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise. In your journal, record how long you worked out and what type of activity it was.
Pedometers– These offer an easy and inexpensive way to monitor your activity. Aim for 10,000 steps per day and find more opportunities to move when you can.
Fitness Trackers– These devices (such as Nike’s FuelBand and the FitBit) gather more information about your physical activity. They sync with your smartphone or computer to give you accurate information about your activity and calories burned.
Apps– There are many different apps available that promote wellness. Try different ones out to see which you like best. These can be very useful for tracking exercise patterns, food intake, and more.
Apps to Try
MyFitnessPal by MyFittnessPal.com (Free):
This has a large food database and makes it easy to keep track of your intake of different nutrients. It helps you set goals for both calories and exercise, and holds you accountable for checking in and meeting your goals.
SparkPeople Diet & Food Tracker by SparkPeople.com (Free):
This app has a database of over 3,000,000 foods to keep track of what you are eating each day. It also provides exercise demos and makes recording your activity easy.
Fitbit by Fitbit, Inc. (Free):
Use this app to track basic activity and calories to get a complete picture of your daily stats– including steps, distance, calories burned, sleep, weight, and more. This can be paired with the Fitbit tracker bracelet for information on calories burned, activity, and sleep.