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New year, new weight goals?

By Cherice Bronte-Tinkew

As always, every new year is a time to reset, and many would have set their new year goal to lose 10lbs to 20lbs, which may or may not have been gained at the end of last year. Does it ring a bell for you?

Cherice Bronte-Tinkew

As a registered dietitian, I encourage persons not to get stuck in the cycle of saying ‘I am going to join the gym and stop eating the junk food’ then drastically over-eat at the next Carnival lime but, really pay attention to what changes can be done to live a healthier life.

Here are some great ways to sit and plan out your goals and successfully achieve them.

Firstly, what is successful weight loss? Successful weight reduction or weight loss requires proper diet and physical activity over a consistent timeline. In the diet, it’s important to reduce fat, sugar, and salt as these are needed in minimum amounts in the body.

Excessive amounts are found in fast foods especially fried foods, sweetened soft drinks, juice drinks, and even packaged snacks like cookies, salted chips and candies.

High fibre foods such as whole grain, whole wheat products and ground provisions are great choices to feel satisfied while reducing the pounds. Fruits and vegetables allow our bodies to work more efficiently to protect it and lean meats, fish and/or legumes (peas and beans) produce lean muscles.

Cooking methods which involve small amounts of healthy fats include baking, grilling, sautéing or even the trendy air-frying can be included.

Let’s look at the Acronym, S.M.A.R.T for creating goals.

S – Specific

Try to determine what you really want to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and when are you going to achieve it. Is it that you want to lose 10lbs to fit into a dress by March or increase more days of home cooking than buying fast food? How much time are you able to dedicate to this goal? Do you know if it requires better food choices or types of exercises you can do? Try to determine if this is benefiting you long term and making sense for your lifestyle.

M – Measurable

Use a calendar to keep track of the days or even reminders on your phone to help you stay on track. Yes, you do have to have a point of measure, such as weighing yourself, use of a measuring tape or even taking pictures. Remind yourself weekly or monthly.

A – Attainable

Planning your meals should happen weekly. Therefore, you can ensure you have all the ingredients and avoid the days of temptations of buying fast foods which are high in fat, sugar, and salt. Choose simple and accessible ingredients. If you have only the ability to make sandwiches than cooking a salmon dish in the oven, then learn how to make your sandwiches healthier. It means simply as adding lettuce or watercress to your sandwich or even choosing whole wheat instead of white bread for increased fibre.

As for exercise, determine what types are accessible to you. Is there a pool nearby for water aerobics or can I dedicate 30 minutes at home for an online aerobic video?

R – Realistic

Can your budget afford a gym membership and still manage to have balanced meals? It’s important to be honest and ensure your goals can be within your budget.

Simple and inexpensive options include, investing in a skipping rope to start jump roping at home or investing in an exercise mat to start at home aerobic exercises. Remember to plan your day and choose a time you can fit in exercise. You may even gather support from friends and family to help you along the way.

T – Timely

How long would it take you to achieve this goal? Sustainable weight loss is one to two pounds lost every week. Therefore, losing 10lbs should take roughly one and a half months to lose. Avoid unrealistic timelines such as 10lbs in 10 days. This may lead to more stress and cutting out important food groups.

In the end, you can end up with S.M.A.R.T. goal such as ‘I am going to lose 10lbs by March which includes making more high fibre sandwiches at home instead of buying fried pies every morning, exercising 30 minutes for five days a week at the nearby community swimming pool after work and I will weigh myself every two weeks to track my progress.’

Cherice Bronte-Tinkew is a registered dietitian for over eight years. She is a member of the Board of Nutritionists and Dietitians and the owner of a private online nutrition practice, JustCher Nutrition.

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