12 Healthy Weight Success Tips for 2019!


1.    "Find Your Why!"

Why do you want to lose weight?  Get deep within you and find your "why."  On a tough day, it’s the "why" that is going to motivate you to succeed!  One of my favorite quotes by British-American author and motivational speaker, Simone Sinek is “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” 

2.  “AA” Assess and Analyze

Keeping a food journal can be tedious but being a detective can help you learn about yourself.  Don’t be afraid to look at it 😊.  You might then think about “what foods are my triggers, "which foods keep me full longer," and “when do I eat the most calories."  Also, learning how many calories, protein, sugar, fiber, and fat, can help you know where to make improvements to your eating plan.  You can journal by writing it down, phone app or website.  A few of my favorites are Fat Secret, Baritastic, and Lose It Ascend


3.    Consider 2015-2010 Dietary Guidelines

1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan

Healthy eating pattern includes:

  • Variety of vegetables

  • Fruits, especially whole fruits

  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages

  • Oils (low in saturated fat like olive, canola, sunflower, and vegetable)

 2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. 

To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts. 

3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.

  1. Less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars      

  2. Less than 2300 mg/day sodium

  3. Less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fats

 4. Shift to healthier food choices. Parameter grocery shopping folks!

5. Support healthy eating patterns for all


4.    Aim for 3 meals/day and 1-2 snacks

  • Hunger regulation, metabolism, energy level, mood, blood sugar, breathing, and more, are all negatively affected by skipping meals. 

  • Avoid greater than 4-5 hours without a meal or snack. 

  • Snacks should be less than or ~200 calories (lean protein, fiber).  It is ok to use a premixed protein shake or protein bar to replace a meal or snack if you need a quick/convenient option on the go!  See snack ideas list.


5.    Avoid Grazing

After-dinner and before-bedtime snacking when not hungry can result in consuming unneeded calories. Often this may be due to boredom, stress or tiredness. When you eat a variety of foods throughout the day according to your hunger and fullness, you're less likely to overeat at night.


6.    Get Sleep

Evidence shows that sleep deprivation can impair glucose metabolism and affect hormones linked to hunger, appetite and body weight regulation.  Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per day for optimal health and daytime functioning.  Adults who report to sleep less than 5-6 hours/day gain more weight over time. 


7.    Go Easy on Eating Out

Most people these days have a busy lifestyle and find that eating on the run is unavoidable.  Research shows that eating away from home can lead to weight gain, but it is realistic to acknowledge that it can happen “on occasion.” Just as you plan with grocery shopping, you should have a plan for the occasional eating out.  Most chain restaurants have their nutrition information available on their websites.  Review this information and choose the best options available.  The Healthy Out app can be helpful!  Consider consuming food prepared outside the home </ 2x per week.


8.    A&E (Activity and Exercise)

Based on research, the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for physical activity intervention are as follows:

  • To prevent weight gain, moderate-Intensity physical activity 150 – 250 minutes/week

  • < 150 minutes/week promotes minimal weight loss.  However, that is what is recommended to improve overall health.

  • 150 minutes/week results in modest weight loss 4.5 – 6.5 pounds overtime

  • To prevent weight gain after weight loss, consider ~200 – 300 min/week


9.    Avoid Rapid Weight Loss

  • Physical activity will increase weight loss if diet restriction is modest, but not if diet restriction is severe.

  • Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. 

  • Aim for a loss of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight quickly, you'll lose muscle, bone, and water. You also will be more likely to regain the pounds quickly. 

  • In addition to pounds lost, evaluate waist circumference and inches lost as another measure of success. 


10.     Avoiding Rigid Menus

Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming task.  With any new diet, always ask yourself: "Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?" If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.  You may consider using an 80/20 rule to allow yourself with flexibility in life, which includes 80% of clean, healthy eating and “liberal fun foods” 20% of the time!


11.     Hydrate and Limit Liquid Calories 

People mistaken hunger for thirst.  Aim for >/64 ounces of “water” daily.  Avoid liquids with more than 10 calories per serving. This includes sweet tea or anything that you add sugar too!


12.     Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating means eating completely with awareness.  It involves being present in the moment. 

  1. Slowing Down

Plan to take 20-30 minutes for a meal. Aim to eat half of your meal by the 10-minute mark. Chew each bite 20 to 25 times.  Put your fork down between bites, use a smaller utensil, or chopsticks to reduce your bite size. 

2. Noticing Your Food

“What are the colors of each food?” “What is the texture?” “What are the smells?” “What does the food feel like in my mouth?” “How does the food taste? Salty? Bitter? Starchy? Rich?” And my favorite, “which bite is most enjoyable?”

3. Decreasing Distractions

Eat in only one place at home and only one place at work (P.S., not your desk!).  Turn off the television and talk radio. Close your eyes while you eat each bite to notice the taste, smell, and feel full.


 Cheers to your health and Happy New Year!

Farrah Wigand