Is your New Year’s resolution to lose the weight you gained throughout 2018 (some of it definitely during the recent holiday season) slowly but surely slowing down to a halt?

If losing weight is a serious goal, take it seriously. With every passing year, says an NIH study, it gets harder to drop those extra pounds. And if you’re obese or just overweight already, you’re at an even greater disadvantage: Those two groups generally gain an average of 5 holiday pounds. Indeed, says the NIH, the annual food fest during the holidays may be fanning the “obesity epidemic” in the United States, where one-third of the population can now be considered obese — that is, having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Follow these simple steps and I promise you’ll be throwing away those new diet books you just bought (you don’t need them anyway . . . ). And definitely take time to watch the video below. I’ll give you all the small steps you need to take to drop the pounds . . . and keep them off!

Make weight loss a choice. Decide upfront that this is a choice you control. Stay focused on your overall health and well-being, a mind-set that permits you to enjoy some of your favorite foods. This in turn will stave off those feelings of deprivation that we all sometimes use to justify a binge.

Almonds in a bowlDon’t starve yourself. Eat a few small (emphasis on small) meals throughout the day. Start with a small bowl of oatmeal — no cream or sugar — in the morning, a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with blueberries as a midday snack, then a salad heavy on the vegetables and a little protein. Finally, just before you head out the door, grab a handful of almonds or sip a bowl of broth to give you energy.

Respect the 50 percent rule. Portion control is probably the most important part of your healthy weight loss plan. In lieu of normal portions, put only half a serving on your plate. You’ll be surprised how quickly your own special “tasting menu” fills you up without making you feel deprived. Eating in a restaurant? Eat half and bring the other half home for the next day, or share with your dining companion.

Brew up a sipping strategy. One trick for cutting the calories in any drink is to mix it with sparkling water or seltzer. Steer clear of sugary drinks — both the alcoholic and nonalcoholic varieties, such as sodas. If consuming alcohol, follow each drink with a tall glass of water or seltzer.

Don’t stress out. So many of us succumb to “stress eating” — eating more the more stressed we get. Avoid that by managing stress and the reasons that cause it. Try meditation, exercise, a long walk, or a big belly laugh with a girlfriend. Whatever it takes to calm you down, do it.

Take a look at this video on how to shed the pounds and keep them off, no matter what your age!

Want more great tips in a hurry? Click here to order a copy of my book, which has loads of science-backed small steps you can take every single day! 

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