July is a good time to check in on those resolutions you made about 6 months ago. So how are you doing?
Are you making progress reaching your goals?
Sometimes people stall on the road to reaching their goals because the way the goals are framed makes it hard to achieve them. Here’s a handy guide to setting realistic goals…
First let’s address a few things that might be tripping you up! Beware of asking too much of yourself right away. This can be unsustainable, and in some cases, extremely unhealthy. Check out a few examples of unrealistic goals below, and make sure that these aren’t on your list…
- Weight loss of 10 pounds or more per month.
- Exercising every day.
- No restaurant dining.
- No snacking.
- No desserts.
- A strict, “go-hungry” diet.
- Skipping breakfast or lunch every day.
- Buying specialty foods that promise effortless weight loss.
Now let’s talk about what realistic goals look like. Realistic goals can be challenging, but should be achievable. Look for ways to improve your lifestyle, diet, and activities, but remember to start slowly. Bad habits are not formed overnight – and unfortunately, neither are good one’s. So let’s start with some realistic goals – here are a few examples …
- Weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week, for some even 1-2 pounds per month is more realistic.
- Aim to exercise for an average of 4-5 days per week. Look for ways to improve multiple fitness parameters – aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance. It’s less boring this way!
- Learn to make healthful and informed choices at restaurants.
- Try new-to-you vegetables and fruits – and play around with them to determine if you like them better cooked or raw!
- Instead of snacking – add mini-meals. Think fiber and protein, two satiating nutrients packed with vital nutrients and energy.
- Share an occasional dessert with other people, and if you have a sweet tooth figure out something small that you can manage, and feel satisfied without going overboard.
- Follow the Harvard Healthy Plate to balance your main meals throughout the day. Half the plate should be vegetables – or fruit in the AM
- Practice portion control.
- Eat healthful, meals packed with fiber.
- Try new recipes on how to add fruits and veggies, starchy veggies, cooked whole grains, and lean protein foods.
Tiny Habits Ensure Your Goals:
Start with Tiny Habits – the best way to start a new habit is to attach it to an existing habit. Example: You want to drink more water – add 4 oz before a meal, and 4 oz after a meal. Even if you had a few sips of water before and after your meal – you’ve accomplished your goal to start a new habit. Check out some Tiny Habit examples that might come in handy…
- Add fruit at breakfast. Start with 1/2 – 1 cup
- Add more veggies at lunch and dinner. Start with 1/2 – 1 cup
- Make more dinner – so you have something for your brown bagged lunch! Packing your own lunch makes it easier to control the calories and contents. Don’t forget to pack your mini-meals too!
- Choose a day (even time of day – like Sunday after your long walk/run) to plan your grocery list to avoid impulse purchases.
- To make better and smaller choices when you eat at restaurants, try salad as your appetizer – light on the dressing. Then you only need a protein and a starchy vegetable or a whole grain for your entree.
- Drink 2-4 oz of water first to avoid eating the bread and butter pre-dinner and between bites, sip on another 2-4 oz of water as a way to see if you want another bite, slice, or piece.
- Keep high-calorie processed snack foods out of the house. They are less tempting that way! Replace them with fruit, nuts, boiled egg, veggies, and/or 1 oz cheese or 1/4 – 1/2 cup hummus
To learn more about how to set healthy goals and tiny habits so you can build and maintain a healthy body, increase your athletic performance, and sustain a lifestyle of healthy eating with a positive mindset, contact me at 973.852.3335