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Wednesday, 14 January 2015 13:01

Five Tips For Losing Weight in the New Year

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The new year is upon us. For would-be dieters, it can be a new beginning, or a return to old habits. Many of us who could benefit from healthy eating habits have already made commitments and fallen off the wagon. Why? Because change is difficult. The good news: once you begin your weight loss journey, things get easier.

Consider Newton's first law (paraphrasing), which says that things at rest tend to remain at rest, and things in motion tend to remain in motion. Getting started is truly the hardest part. So here are some new year's tips to help you begin your journey to healthy eating.

1) Eat a good breakfast.

You've heard that breakfast is the most important meal. It gives you energy and a positive outlook for the rest of the day. Skipping breakfast causes an energy crash later in the day, and can lead to snacking on sweets and high-calorie foods to make up for lack of energy.

2) Stay active.

If you're like many of us, you spend a lot of time crouched in front of a computer, or sitting on the couch watching TV. Avoid a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle. That doesn't mean you need to become a marathon runner. Plan outdoor family activities, play with the dog, clean the house, rearrange the furniture, join a fitness center or just take a walk!

3) Get motivated.

You want to lose weight. But are you really ready to make a commitment? Yes! Make a list. In one column, write down your reasons for losing weight: your health, longevity, family, quality of life, cost of medical expenses associated with obesity, productivity at work, your appearance, etc. In another column, write down the reasons for not losing weight. A motivational list is a great visual tool to get you thinking on the right track.

4) Get enough sleep.

Staying up late often means raiding the refrigerator for quick-energy, sweet, fatty comfort-type foods. At a time when your body should be healing and repairing itself, you're compensating for fatigue by putting your body into diet overdrive. Plan your day carefully. Remember that, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."

5) Avoid unhealthy eating triggers.

We are creatures of habit. We tend to repeat successful behaviors like getting comfort from fatty foods. When that happens, behavior patterns are reinforced, leading to bad eating habits. Track your eating habits like a hunter stalks his prey. What triggers your unhealthy eating? Is it a trip to the supermarket, partying with friends, late-night television, or stress from work? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control offers help in identifying your eating triggers and how to avoid them.

Lastly, if you are overweight or obese, we recommend talking to the medical weight loss professionals at California Medical Weight Management. Your family doctor may tell you simply, "Eat less and exercise more." But you already know that. CalMWM offers a free, no-oblilgation weight loss consultation and $50 off your initial visit on the program to help you get started. Visit www.calmwm.com for more information.

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