New Year's Resolutions, 1 Month Later
10 ways to make your diet and fitness resolutions last
Top 10 Habits of Successful Resolvers continued...
6. Manage Your Cravings
Cravings for foods are caused by swings in your blood sugar. If you eat the
right kinds of foods and snack strategically, you can eliminate cravings, says
Agatston. "Almost everyone who is overweight has cravings, typically
late-afternoon hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)," he says. "They
frequently choose simple carbs (like sweets, soda, and refined bread products)
that give them a quick boost." The problem is that a quick rise in blood
sugar is usually followed by quick fall, and hunger strikes again. Eating every
3-4 hours, and always including lean protein (from nuts, low-fat dairy, lean
meats, or beans) will satisfy your hunger for fewer calories and without the
dramatic swings in blood sugar, Agatston says.
7. Control Your Environment
Stack the deck in your favor by eliminating tempting, fattening treats from
your surroundings. Instead, stock the pantry and refrigerator with plenty of
healthy foods, Tallmadge says. Surround yourself with people, places, and
things that will help you change your behavior. Avoid those that invite
problems, like going to happy hour or eating at a buffet restaurant.
8. Do the Opposite
George Costanza on Seinfeld thought it was a good idea, and Norcross
says it works for resolvers: "We call it counter-conditioning: one needs to
do the opposite of the problem behavior. The opposite of sedentary behavior is
an active behavior. It is not good enough to diet; instead, you need to replace
the unhealthy foods with more nutritious foods."
9. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself all along the way for continued motivation and success.
"A reward can be a massage, flowers, or removing chores you dislike,"
says Tallmadge. Figure out what will work for you, and reward yourself whenever
you achieve a mini-goal (such as losing 10 pounds or exercising every day for a
10. Anticipate Slips, and Deal with Them
Don't let a slipup derail your resolve to improve your health. Setbacks are
inevitable; it's how you respond to them that matters. "One of the most
important skills I teach my clients is how to recover from slips," says
Tallmadge. Successful resolvers use slipups to help them get back on track,
serving as a reminder that they need to be strong. People who see slips as a
failure often use one as an excuse to give up, says Norcross.