I participate in a Wellness Challenge at work that involves making goals for the year and receiving a monetary award at the end of the year if you reach your goals. As part of the markers, I am weighed each year at the same time. I think this is very valuable information. Many adults gain weight after the age of 30 at a steady rate (typically at least one pound each year after the age of 30). Start weighing yourself every year around the same time and keep a record of your weight in a document on your computer. If your weight is slowly creeping up each year, you need to make some changes. The year will pass and you can make a difference in your weight next year with a few simple changes.
Eating just 100 calories less each day results in 10 pounds of weight loss over the course of a year. Imagine how easily you consume 100 calories: 2 cookies, 20 peanuts, 10 chips. Now imagine cutting just 100 calories a day. Nothing drastic. Just making an effort to eat 100 less calories for 365 days. Now imagine stepping on the scale one year from today and being 10 pounds less…and with so little effort.
The key is consistency. You must consistently eat 100 calories less. You can’t just eat a very low calorie diet Monday through Thursday followed by splurging Friday through Sunday. You can eat well over the calories you saved during the week by eating too much on the weekends. You must consistently consume 100 calories less.
How can you achieve this? Simply set one goal for the following month. Pinpoint an area that you need to improve so that you are in a calorie deficit. Once you have made that change a habit, move on to another goal.
Here are some examples:
- Give up bread at dinner. Instead of having spaghetti with breadstick, have spaghetti with steamed vegetables
- Stop drinking your calories. Cut out juice, regular lemonade, and regular soda pop.
- Eat fruit and vegetables for snacks instead of chips, crackers, or cookies.
You don’t have to start following a strict meal plan and feel like you are depriving yourself every day. Focus on one area of your diet where you can cut back. With just a few minor changes in your eating habits, you can stop the cycle of weight gain and like the number you see on the scale.