Listen up, people. We're only nine days into the new year, and many of us can already feel those resolutions slipping away. But don't throw in the towel just yet. HG's here with the TOP ATE tricks for sticking to your diet and exercise resolutions...
1. Get by with a little help from your friends.
Following healthy eating and exercise plans can be tough to do on your own. GET SOME SUPPORT! Find a buddy to walk with or join you at the gym. Compare grocery lists with a calorie-counting pal. (Check out our AWESOME new printable list for 2009!) And if you're a little shy about this kind of stuff, a discreet approach can be just as effective. Get your sweat on in your living room with a new workout DVD (consider the video trainers your new BFFs). And hop onto some discussion boards online to swap stories anonymously.
2. Just journal.
Jotting down your daily diet is one of the best ways to stay on track. Even if you're too crunched for time to record every calorie, fat gram, POINTS® value, etc., just writing a little description of each meal and snack can have a huge impact. You can always review your choices later, and see if you need to make some changes. Ooh, and don't forget that old WW credo, "Write before you bite!" That one's a keeper, since you're way less likely to scarf down 87 jellybeans if you see it in writing first.
3. When it comes to exercise, everything counts.
Even if you can't get a full workout in one day, you can always squeeze something in. Go for a few calf raises while waiting in line at the bank -- or get a walk in before dinner. Do bicep curls with soup cans while you wait for the oven to preheat. Stretch in the shower (careful -- don't slip!). Commit to doing at least SOME physical activity each day.
4. Be prepared.
Holiday shopping may be over, but you can still have a spree at the supermarket. A stocked kitchen is KEY to success, so print out our latest grocery list and hit the aisles running (okay, walking). Make sure to consider all your snacking and mealtime emergencies. Do you have purse-friendly snacks? How about nukeable dinner choices for when you get stuck at the office? Make a list of all your tough-eating scenarios and plan accordingly.
5. Rethink your resolutions.
One of the main reasons resolutions fall short is because they aren't reasonable. If you're determined to lose 30 pounds by the end of January, you're setting yourself up for failure. If you've never exercised before noon in your life, yet you've made up your mind to hit the 6am cycling class five times a week, you probably won't do it. Adjust your goals and make them REALISTIC. Who says resolutions need to start on the 1st anyway?
6. Keep it fun.
Face it -- if your meal plan is boring and your exercise routine's lame, you're never gonna stick it out for the entire year (let alone beyond that). So add some excitement. Find great new recipes to try out -- plug the name of your favorite food into the HG search bar (in the upper right corner!) and see what comes up. And seek out exercises that you actually enjoy. If running doesn't do it for you, try dancing. You can also take power-walks through the mall, try a new sport, hula hoop, take up karate, go swimming... Whatever! You can even work out with your video console (Wii Sports, anyone?). Just do it. (Our secret? Lots of bad reality shows while walking on the treadmill.)
7. Rely on reminders.
With all that's going on, you might need some "shoulder taps" to keep you from forgetting your New Year's wish list of personal goals. So buy yourself a cute calendar and fill it with activities. Schedule workouts. If they're written in your calendar, you'll be more likely to do them.
8. Forgive, don't forget!
If you slip up and miss a day of exercise or accidentally inhale an entire week's worth of chocolate in one sitting, don't beat yourself up about it. It's one thing to acknowledge where you went wrong so you don't repeat your mistakes, but it's another thing altogether if you throw yourself a pity party that lasts until Labor Day. Don't give up, letting one bad day turn into a bad week or month. ACK! Be patient with yourself while you figure out what works. Live and learn!
CHEW ON THIS: Friday, January 9th, is National Apricot Day. Celebrate with the guilt-free Venetian Apricot Chicken at Olive Garden (click here for the 411)!
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.