A new year!
I think we can all agree, it is a welcomed change. So, with a new year, comes resolutions and plans for a renewed you. What changes do you plan to make in 2021?
If you have been following me for weight loss or weight management for some time, you know I am not a big fan of new year's resolutions. I feel they often set us up to fail. But, given the year 2020 gave us, this may be an exception to that rule!
But, we need to make wise resolutions. A good template to use when making any resolution or goal is SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timed
Specific: What outcome do you want? Specifically, how many pounds do you want to lose. What size do you wish to be? What A1c do you want to see when you repeat your blood work in 6 months?
Measurable: How will you know you have reached your goal? How will you measure your outcome? Will it be on the scales, a lab test, a pant size, a feeling of satisfaction?
Attainable: How achievable is this goal? Here is where we set ourselves up to fail. Setting goals that are so lofty we cannot possibly accomplish them in the timeframe we have alloted. Have you given yourself enough time to lose 50 pounds? Is it reasonable to expect you can run a 5K in 3 months?
Relevant: How meaningful is this goal? Will it still mean something to you in March? Or, will you give up on it for something else when the season changes. Make certain it will remain a priority to you.
Timed: Have an end point. A time in which you plan to reach your goal. This may be multiple dates. You will have the finish line, naturally. The big goal that you reach when you have lost the total pounds you wish to lose. But, along the way, set smaller goals to keep you motivated and moving in the right direction.
So, you've set your goals or resolutions. Now, how do you make positive changes to get those wheels in motion?
Here is a list of some things you might consider trying in 2021 that I think are beneficial for anyone making healthy changes in their diet and lifestyle:
Invest in a phone app:
There are several advantages to having a pocket health coach!
We do not know when the world will be "normal" again so virtual is the way to be for now
When losing weight and making lifestyle changes, accountability is a key factor. Having someone to hold us accountable, that is just a phone notification away, can be very beneficial! It is something I wish I could do for all of my patients.
Most of the apps are more than just health coaching. They serve as food journals, online support groups, and learning tools.
I recommend NOOM but there are numerous apps out there.
Take advantage of your insurance benefits:
Does your insurance cover wellness visits to a health coach for weight loss? Many plans do and you may be missing out on a service that is very beneficial.
Each insurance plan is different. Some pay for monthly visits, some pay for just a few each year. Others, will pay according to how much you need to lose. Call your insurance company and find out. You can also call my office and we can find out for you: 870-936-8000
Invest in Meal Delivery:
Take the stress out of meal planning this year. Meal delivery plans have been on the rise since covid and there are many to choose from.
Not only are there plans specific to weight loss, even the mainstream meal deliveries have low calorie options. I plan to blog my favorites but here are a few to check out in the meantime:
Metabolic Meals: This meal delivery site prepares low calorie, low carb meals designed for those trying to actively lose weight.
Hello Fresh: I have actually used this service myself and can tell you they do deliver low calorie meals that taste great. The portions are appropriate and the prepping is not difficult.
Blue Apron: Another meal delivery system that offers low calorie meals that you can customize to your needs.
There are still plans like Nutrisystem which work and are the same concept. You do not have to prepare the food, as it is frozen. I like the idea of getting fresh food that you prepare. I feel it equips us with the skills to do it for ourselves once we have reached our goal weight.
I also learned a lot about cooking that I did not already know using Hello Fresh. It actually made me a better cook!
Join a gym:
Yes, I know, I do not advocate exercise for weight loss. It is more beneficial for weight maintenance. However, sometimes, we need to adopt an overall healthy mentality to help us with our weight loss.
Joining a gym, taking exercise classes, forming a bond with others doing the same, gives us that same accountability that seeing a health coach or me will achieve.
I am not saying you need to become a gym rat. But, perhaps a yoga class, some water aerobics, or walking an indoor track a few days a week might help get you mentally in the game?
If you are still concerned about covid and being in a gym, try virtual. Download the MindBody app on your phone. It allows you to watch workout videos and even participate virtually in classes held locally. You will stay in the know for when this world does open back up and you can join in person again!
Have a friendly competition:
At work, among friends or family members, Sunday school groups, or your neighbors. Who isn't trying to lose weight in January?
Have everyone throw in a dollar amount to join the competition and then start weekly weigh-ins. You must add to the cash pot based on how much you gained or everyone contributes except the one who lost the most that week.
Set an end date and the "biggest loser" takes all! Nothing like some friendly rivalry to keep you motivated.
There are many ways to renew your motivation this year. What do you plan to do?
Whatever your plans, remember to keep your goals SMART and do not put too much pressure on yourself. January is just another month in your weight loss journey.
You have been doing it thus far. Don't let a new year trip you up!
Here is to renewed motivation. Let's put 2020 behind us. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned. Do not dwell on the negatives. Focus on the positives.
2021 will be better.
Happy New Year,