Weight Watchers Friendly Mini Resolutions
Are you a resolution maker?
I gave it up years ago. For the past few years I've instead selected a word or phrase to represent the coming year. Past words have included, "simplify," "enough," "focus," "breathe," and "believe."
As I was flipping through the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, an interesting article on the secret of making resolutions made me think I should reconsider.
Keep them small and specific so you can reach your big goals one step at a time. Much like my recent post about a step by step approach for weight loss success.
Providing helpful information for getting healthy in the New Year, here's my summary of the article:
#1 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'm going to eat healthy," think: "I'll eat a salad with dinner."
We all know eating more fresh vegetables and fruit goes a long way toward getting healthy. The USDA advises women to eat 2-½ cups of vegetables per day (5 servings) and 1-½ cups fruit (3 servings) daily. Eat a small apple, a pear, or a large banana after lunch and start dinner with a salad and you're halfway there.
Can you see why Fruits and Non-starchy vegetables have Zero SmartPoints?
#2 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'll get more sleep," think: "I'll bump up my bedtime."
"Go to bed 15 minutes earlier on Monday, then make another 15-minute shift on Thursday or Friday," says Holly Phillips, M.D., author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. Keep repeating until you're getting the optimal amount of sleep for you - between seven and nine hours.
The link between lack of sleep and weight gain is undeniable. Have you ever noticed that you feel hungrier when you are short on sleep? I sure have. Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating. "When you don't get enough sleep, your body is in an after-stress reaction mode, and you you turn to food," says Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD, former Chief Scientific Officer for Weight Watchers International.
#3 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'll exercise for an hour every day," think: "I'll move for 10 minutes 3 Times a Day."
Breaking exercise into 10-minute chunks throughout the day is just as effective as one longer episode. Everything counts: brisk walking, raking leaves, shoveling snow, biking around the neighborhood. Find ways to move more throughout the day.
#4 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'll spend more time with friends and family, think: "I'll put my phone away at every meal."
Meals are often the only time we have with family and friends, and the mere presence of a phone cuts into the connection we feel. Declare the dining table a no-phone zone. "Designating a 'sacred space' can be easier than putting away your phone for a set period of time," says Sherry Turkel, Ph.D., author of Reclaiming Conversation and director of MIT's Initiative on Technology and Self.
#5 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of, "I'm going to lose 10 pounds," think: "I'll weigh myself daily."
According to a new study in the Journal Obesity, people who stepped on the scale daily and logged their results lost more weight over the course of a year than those who didn't.
Why? A little daily feedback nudges you to tweak your eating and exercise habits bit by bit, and that's what make changes sustainable over time (as opposed to cutting out entire food groups.) Track your stats.
I would say adopt this approach only if you have a healthy relationship with the scale, where you use it as a tool to support your efforts, not beat yourself up!
#6 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'm cutting out sugar," think: "I'll have one sweet treat a day."
Focus on what you can have, not what you can't. "Eliminating sweets altogether is not only impractical, it also feels incredibly restrictive, which sets you up for a binge." Of course, quantity matters so keep it to a small serving - ½ cup ice cream or 1 ounce dark chocolate. This applies beyond dessert too.
Instead of saying, "I'm never having another burger," just lose the cheese and bacon or take off the top bun and eat it open-face. The idea is to fine-tune your favorite things so they can fit into a healthy lifestyle, not banish them forever.
Related: 10 easy ways to cut back on sugar
Again, this is in perfect alignment with Weight Watchers approach of nothing being off limits, provided you plan and budget for it.
#7 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: " I'm breaking my social media addiction," think: "Once a day I'll skip the urge to log on."
Vowing to go cold turkey with your digital devices is just as unrealistic as it is with food, so pick one goal like ignoring that compulsive "must check feed" feeling until you're checking just once or twice a day. "The point isn't to give up social media but to spend less time connecting with people and more time actually conversing with them," Turkle says.
#8 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I won't let stress rule me," think: I'll meditate for 5 minutes."
Meditating regularly can help prevent that knee-jerk panic when you're faced with a stressful situation, and meditating has been linked to a slew of health benefits, including lower blood pressure and a boost in immunity, says Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of Fully Present.
Meditation can also clear a foundation for healthier thinking and feeling. "When you meditate, all the junk comes up, all the clutter," says Lahman. "The negative body images come up, the desires for certain foods come up, and the emotions that are attached to those desires come up. The more they surface, the more you can put them in your mental recycle bin and start with a clean slate."
"Meditation is about stopping and being present, that is all," writes Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, in Wherever You Go, There You Are; Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. He adds, "Mostly we run around doing. Are you able to come to a stop in your life, even for one moment? Could it be this moment? What would happen if you did?"
You don't have to be a zen master to feel the rewards. "Start with five minutes, which is long enough to have an effect but short enough that you can squeeze it in." she says.
There are many types of meditation. Find one that resonates with your beliefs, and make sure your instructor has plenty of experience. In the meantime, you can try the following:
- Sit straight in a comfortable, quiet place.
- Close your eyes.
- Relax your muscles.
- Pay attention to your slow and natural breathing.
- When distracting thoughts occur — and they will — simply notice them and gently bring your attention back to the breath. You may have to do this often at first.
- Begin with just 5 minutes. When this becomes easy, continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
Try to practice once or twice daily. With time, meditation will "bring a sense of relaxation, of coming to peace," says Gaines. "And from that place of peace we make better choices."
#9 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I won't sit as much," think: "I'll set a get up reminder."
Too much sitting is bad for your health and your weight. but you don't have to invest in a standing desk to counteract the negatives. Just get out of your seat at least once every hour. And if you feel the urge to tap you foot or drum your finger between breaks, go for it. Brand new research shows that fidgeting might offset the harmful effects of sitting.
I've begun setting the timer on my phone to go off every hour when I'm sitting at the computer. When it goes off, I get up for a few minutes and walk up and down the stairs a few times or do a couple of yoga poses. It really helps get the blood flowing. Click here for video demonstrating easy yoga poses to counter the effects of too much sitting.
#10 Mini Resolution for Weight Watchers
Instead of: "I'll be more positive," think: "I'll count my complaints."
"It's crazy to think that you'll never complain about anything ever again, but you can cut back by becoming more aware of when you do it." says Caroline L. Arnold, author of Small Move, Big Change.
Use physical reminders like switching a watch or bracelet from one wrist to the other. Another option is to pick one topic such as your mother-in-law, the weather, the traffic, and vow to stop complaining about it.
This has been an ongoing focus for me now for a while. I'm not sure I'm getting better, but I keep trying. I've also found that finding beginning by day by counting my blessings can help.
My Mini Resolutions for This Year
Reading this has me thinking about how I can take my word for this year, Simplify, and create some small, specific goals around it, probably resulting in more success.
Areas of my life I want to simplify in 2016 include:
- meals, cooking, kitchen cupboards, and pantry
- skincare and cosmetics
- wardrobe and clothes closet
Now to do the work to turn these general desires into specific mini measurable activities!!
What are your resolutions, goals and dreams for this year and beyond?
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