Want to lose weight? Ditch all resolutions. Follow 6 simple steps …

New year resolutions, post-holiday resolutions, and post heavy-duty project resolutions to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly is the norm for many people.

But the challenge is, that every time there is a small failure with adherence, the diet and exercise plans get disrupted until the next big event for e.g., a birthday or anniversary celebration. And the vicious cycle of resolution and disruption continues.

I have been on this resolution and disruption cycle multiple times, but after a few failures, I just decided to “ditch the resolutions”, focus on the moment and do the best I could with my eating and exercise habits. Every time I fell off the bandwagon, I would just hop back on and try to get it right later in the day, and compensate on the next day. Now, I have started getting it right 80% of the time. More importantly, I don’t feel guilty anymore, and that’s good because guilt would trigger an overeating binge.

Following are 6 simple steps I have adopted to stay on the healthy lifestyle track:

1.Eat In Moderation

I don’t have a weekly diet plan or a weight loss food plan, as, as a nutritionist, I intuitively know what and how much to eat. I just eat smaller quantities of a meal that includes brown rice, vegetables and meat, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh or beans at each meal. I stop eating when I feel I can eat another spoon or two of rice. I also put everything I plan to eat on my plate at one time, so that I can see what I eat, and I never go back for second helpings.

Some people respond better to a regimented weekly diet plan and if you are one of those, I would recommend staying on the plan, as it will serve as an excellent guide for moderating your food intake.

2.Balance Out Treats

I like to have two biscuits with my cup of tea, and chocolate after dinner. To fit these treats in, I cut down carbs at lunch and dinner. But to ensure my whole grain intake is not impacted, I only buy biscuits made from whole wheat flour. Also, I limit my chocolate treat to one to two pieces daily. But, if I do eat more, I forgive myself. Forgiving is important, as feelings of guilt can send you on an overeating binge.

If you follow a weekly diet plan, ask your dietitian to help you fit in your favourite treats.

3.Eat And Drink Out Sensibly

When I am out eating casually or socially, I watch what and how much I eat and drink. I watch food portions; I eat less oily gravy and eat no more than one fried snack. If it is an individual order, I generally order steamed or grilled fish with a salad or vegetables on the side; or a soupy noodle, versus a fried one. But again, if I crave something, for example., dessert, I share the dessert with a friend/s.    

With drinking too, I try to limit my intake to no more than two glasses of red wine; or a vodka with diet cola. And just in case I do go overboard, which I sometimes do, when I am with family and friends, I balance out my overall intake by eating less the day after. And yes, if I drink, I say no to desserts, as consuming both equals to too many calories.

If you follow a weekly diet plan or weight loss food plan, ask your dietitian to recommend options for social eating two times a week.  

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

4.Some Exercise Is Better Than None!

A daily exercise routine motivates you to stay on a healthy eating path. Instead of waiting for the perfect 1-hour exercise slot, the key really is to start small – maybe with a 15-minute walk post dinner or 15 minutes of exercise with a YouTube video daily.

Gradually build in a routine. Build up to 30 to 40 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. Five times a week is reasonable, as it allows you to take a guilt-free break two times a week.

5.Journal Your Emotions & Maintain A Diet & Exercise Log

Pen down your thoughts and emotions in a journal daily, to help you destress and rationalize negative emotions, as stress leads to overeating.  Also, log in your dietary intake and exercise regime into a diary daily – as the habit of recording everything will motivate you stay on the healthy lifestyle track.

6.Set Weight & Fitness Goals

Chalk out weight and fitness goals that are realistic, and record your progress in your diary daily, as ‘what gets measured gets done’.

Finally, life really is about living in the moment, so make little changes as you go, and eat as healthfully as you possibly can and fit some exercise in daily. Don’t wait for that ‘perfect’ moment, as it may never come! Also, remember your body is the only machine you have, so maintain it, look after it and service it well, if you want it to last a lifetime! Good luck with staying on the healthy lifestyle track!

VeVeva Nutrition Pte Ltd established in 2019, is a nutrition consultancy for the food and beverage industry, individuals and groups. With a personal passion to create a healthier world, we assess your current diet and lifestyle, and recommend dietary changes for optimal health and/or weight management. As worksite wellness for a healthier more productive workforce is of essence, we will work with you to design customised corporate nutrition programmes to help your employees eat their way towards a healthier lifestyle. For more information, email: yashna.harjani@vevevanutrition.com.

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