Why Your 2017 Goal Should Be Behavior Change, Not Losing

change-your-mind-to-lose-weight-500x334Instead of making lofty promises to lose weight this New Year, you can be much more successful if you focus on changing your behavior.  The reason most resolutions aren’t achieved, or are only short-lived, is because we don’t define how exactly our behavior will change.  Our goals are often vague, unstructured or don’t define actionable steps.

Set SMART Goals

The most effective goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For example, if your primary desire is to lose weight, a SMART goal would be to keep a food journal and write down everything you eat, each day, for a week.

Once you have your SMART goal, take steps to monitor your behavior and adjust as necessary.

Plan For Slips

It would be unrealistic if we didn’t anticipate slips, or lapses, as we work on building new behavior. The most important thing is not to be hard on yourself when slips happen. Reflect on what contributed to the slip and find ways to navigate through the challenges.

Reward Yourself

Define what success looks like for you and reward yourself for the behaviors that support your goal. For example, at the end of the week if you met your goal six of the seven days, treat yourself to a movie, pedicure, shopping or whatever you like.

Seek Support

If you find yourself continually coming up short on weight loss goals, or if the idea of starting a weight-loss plan is too overwhelming, you may want to consider enlisting some support. Health care providers can advise you on diet, physical activity and medications that may help.

You may also want to consider a weight management support group. It’s empowering when you are successful and when other people recognize that success.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

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3 Easy Ways to Eat More Meals at Home

Most Americans today aren’t following the government’s recommended dietary guidelines. In fact, they’re not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and they istock-460260009-500x333consume too much sodium, sugar and saturated fats. They also go out to eat more often than they should.

Although it is possible to eat healthy away from home, studies have shown that most people don’t, choosing foods with more calories, fat and saturated fat than what they’d get at home. The USDA Economic Research Service found that restaurant food has a significant impact on caloric intake and diet quality. Meals and snacks from restaurants contain, on average, 134 more calories than the same food prepared at home.

To eat healthier, cook more meals at home. Follow these tips to make food prep a breeze:

Meal Plan

It might take you 15 minutes or so to plan out all the meals you and your family will eat for the week, but at least you won’t be standing in front of the fridge at dinnertime wondering what to eat. By doing so, you’ll also avoid the temptation of going out to eat.  With your list in hand, you can do just one grocery trip for the week to get all you need. Another timesaver!

Sign Up For A Meal Planning Service

You can reduce time spent planning and shopping by paying a meal planning service to do it for you.  Most of these services incorporate well-rounded meals and deliver foods uncooked, with accompanying recipes. Many offer meals to fit special dietary needs as well.

Although some services deliver cooked meals, by seeing the raw ingredients you can be sure of exactly what you are eating. This is a fun way to try new foods and eat more veggies.

Pack Your Lunch

Brown bagging it is an easy way to ensure a healthy lunch and reduce your caloric intake. In fact, eating fewer lunches out will save you, on average, 158 calories per lunch. But don’t get in a turkey sandwich rut. Consider packing healthy leftovers, salads, bento box-style lunches and more to keep things fun! Just search online for “lunch box planning” and you will have no shortage of fresh ideas.

Source: UCF College of Medicine