Resolutions rarely last because people make too lofty of goals. Lose ten pounds in a month? Yikes. Or goals that aren’t measurable. Exercise more. What does that even mean or look like? BUT any day is a good day to make some life changes for the better even if it’s New Years Day. So call it a resolution or a goal, start today or tomorrow, it’s all up to you.
This year I’m thinking about being more cognizant of what I put into my body, and if you’re in the same boat, there are a few tried and true ways to go about it.
Maybe you are a mindful person?
Try intuitive eating! Listen to your body and become in tune to its signals of hunger and fullness. Are you truly hungry or emotionally hungry? What do you want to eat? Would some nuts satisfy you or do you really want that cookie? Of course it’s more challenging than that, but there are some great resources out there (aka intuitive eating dietitians).
Maybe you’re more of a planner?
Try tracking your calories short or long term. If you become overly obsessed or rigid then that’s a sign this isn’t for you. It tends to be better suited for people who can be objective about it.
Start out tracking what you eat to get a baseline and find areas to cut back. Calorie counting can also increase awareness. For myself I use it as a tool to stay mindful of what I am eating or drinking. Over the weekend I ate pizza and drank beer and wine but I also stopped when I was full rather than getting caught in the moment.
Counting calories is a tool, it does not dictate your life. Please seek assistance as needed and please do not go below 1200 calories.
Maybe you want to start small but don’t know where?
Try to include a fruit or vegetable with every meal and eat that first before anything else. Fiber fills you up!
Drink a glass of water before each meal. Oftentimes people don’t hydrate enough. Sometimes thirst can also be confused as hunger.
Try using smaller plates or bowls. You can always go back for more, but you may be satisfied.
Avoid keeping trigger foods (foods that you eat mindlessly and in large amounts) in the house. If you want a treat and have to go out for it or make it, you’re more likely to really think it through.
Whatever you choose there is a dietitian out there to help you. Nothing is black or white. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Therefore, whatever you decide should be something that you can sustain. While calorie counting for me is not sustainable, it helps me to pinpoint some areas that have become weak spots or areas to work on while still letting all foods (and wine) fit into my life. So right now you can find me tracking my calories in a way that helps me be more mindful of what I am choosing to put into my body. There’s no specific amount that I’m shooting for, I’m simply being more cognizant.