Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

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Weight Loss Resolution – Tips to Stay Motivated

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on January 1, 2009

New Year’s is just around the corner and you know what that means. . .New Year’s Resolution! Every year you set a goal to make a change for the better. This should be a time of great excitement; however, you may be approaching it with a sense of dread instead. Will you achieve your goal? Or will it end up being another resolution that falls to the wayside?

The statistics are not very encouraging. Most people give up on their New Year resolutions within three weeks. According to one discouraging study, only 8% of American’s actually achieve their New Year resolutions!

How will you keep yourself motivated and make this the year you achieve your goals?

Here are five key strategies to stay motivated:

1. Set realistic goals.

Set a goal you know you can achieve. If you are currently inactive, it’s unrealistic to set a goal to run 5 miles three times a week. Instead, set a goal you can achieve, such as “I will walk 30 minutes 3 days a week.” Realistic goals can be motivating because once you achieve your goal you can set a new one! This allows you to “see” the progress you’re making. Which brings us to the next important strategy. . .

2. Set measurable goals.

Measurable goals make it possible to track your progress. For example, instead of setting the goal “I will eat out less this year” change it to “I will eat out no more than once a week this year”. By setting measurable goals you can easily track if you are sticking with your goals.

3. Write your goals down.

Writing down your goals makes them “real” versus keeping a mental list. Post your resolution where you will see it everyday as a reminder and added motivation.

4. Tell a friend.

Share your goals with others. This provides a sense of accountability. It’s much easier to let yourself down, but when you’ve shared your plan with someone else, there’s often an increased desire to succeed.

5. Reward Yourself!

When you achieve a goal, reward yourself. It’s important to recognize your accomplishments and treat yourself. Just make sure your treat is in line with your goal. If you want to lose weight, this isn’t the time to treat yourself to an ice cream sundae. Consider other small rewards you’d enjoy, such as a good book, new music CD, or new pair of shoes.

You increase your chance of success if you take it one step at a time. I wish you all the best on your journey to heart health and weight loss!

Go to http://www.eNutritionServices.com to sign up for The Heart of Health ezine and receive regular tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson. You’ll also receive the free report “Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health” or the free e-course “8 Essential Steps to Lower Cholesterol Naturally”.


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Make Your Halloween Healthier

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on October 27, 2008

Halloween is just around the corner, which means trick-or-treating, and I stress the “treating”. Eliminating candy completely at Halloween is not a feasible option and why spoil a fun holiday the whole family should enjoy? However, by taking a few simple steps you can limit the amount of candy in your home and maintain a balance between holiday treats and your health goals.

  • Are you throwing or attending a Halloween party? Limit the cookies/candy and aim for some traditional fall goodies, such as caramel covered apples, pumpkin dip and pumpkin bars, which are tasty treats that offer some good nutrition too. If you are the party host, plan some party activities that get guests up and moving – Monster Mash dance contest or a scarecrow building contest – to work off some of the holiday goodies while having a ghoulish good time.
  • Limit the number of homes you take your children to for trick-or-treating. The fewer homes you visit, the less candy you take home.
  • “Donate” excess candy to the office or your child’s teacher. You and/or your spouse can place a candy dish at your office to share with co-workers and your children can load up a bag to give to teachers for school treats throughout the year.
  • Purchase only what you think you’ll need to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Estimate how many little devils and goblins came knocking on your door previous years and purchase just enough candy to cover your expected trick-or-treaters. This will limit the leftover candy you will be tempted to consume after the big night.
  • Portion control is key. Watch how much you eat at a time. If you have a sweet tooth, keep the candy out of sight and limit yourself to one or two pieces each day.

Halloween comes around once a year and for those dealing with health issues, such as heart disease or excess weight; this may be a stressful time trying to balance a healthy diet with the influx of candy. By following the above tips and making good decisions you can enjoy this time of year and some sweets, too.

Happy Halloween!
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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