Saturday, December 20, 2008

new year's resolutions

mostly they are a joke right? well, if yours include (like 90% of the world) losing weight, eating better or just trying some healthier habits, I think you'd really benefit from a fantastic article I just read in my Women's Health magazine. I completely HEART this mag. I love, love, love to work out, so technically, my body should be absolutely rocking, right? Well, it is not. It's healthy & strong & that's great & all, but there is a bit much in the padding department & it's is time for that to go. My friend Katie at my gym & I were talking a few weeks ago & she said that weight loss/maintenance is really 80% nutrition & only 20% exercising! I guess I really need to own up to my crappy habits. Plus, I hate how I feel when I am eating all unconciously & out of control-y. At this point, it isn't even about getting back into my True Religion jeans, I have had it up to HERE with my poor eating habits! By the way, those True Religions, along with 5 or 6 of my most lovely (pricey) jeans that I don't exactly fit into right now... my "skinny" jeans? Yeah, they just went to my friend Kierstin's house, to become her "fat" jeans after she had a baby. Nice, huh? Stupit skinny hooker. (just kidding.)
Anyway, the point of this post, is to share some things that are probably complete no-brainers for most people, (Kierstin) but for me & the other will-power challenged people out there, they might be complete revelations. Just thought I'd share.

#1 Ramp up your resolve
One reason most diets fail is that long-term goals can be deceptively difficult: When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip. To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you're 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it's just a few days. (I'll be going one day at a time myself.)
"Once you make it to your goal date, start over," says Mary Vernon, M.D., chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. "This establishes the notion that you can be successful and gives you a chance to notice that eating better makes you feel better, reinforcing your desire to continue."

#2 Find meaningful motivation
If the main purpose of your diet is cosmetic--i.e., to look amazing in boy shorts--you're unlikely to stick with it for the long haul.
The solution: "Arm yourself with additional motivators," says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Connecticut. He suggests keeping a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale. (I'm totally doing that!)
"Discovering that your new diet improves the quality of your life and health is powerful motivation," Volek says.

#3 Move on after a mistake
OK, you overindulged. What's the next step? "Forget about it," says James Newman, a nutritionist at Tahlequah City Hospital, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, who followed his own advice to shed 300 pounds. (That's right, three hundred.) "One meal doesn't define your diet, so don't assume that you've failed or fallen off the wagon," he says.
Institute a simple rule: Follow any "cheat" meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you'll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time.

#4 Roll out of bed and into the kitchen
Sure, you've heard this advice before. But consider that if you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find. (This one, I actually don't struggle with, thanks Mom! I love breakfast & have no problem making good choices at this point.)
The most convenient foods are typically packed with sugar (doughnuts, lattes) or other quickly digested carbohydrates (McMuffins, cinnamon buns). Which brings us to our next strategy.

#5 Restock your shelves
How many times have you driven to the store in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving? Probably not nearly as often as you've raided the fridge. You're more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand. So make sure it's not: Toss the junk food and restock your cupboard and fridge with almonds and other nuts, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna, chicken, and salmon. And do the same at work.
"By eliminating snacks that don't match your diet and providing plenty that do, you're far less likely to find yourself at the doughnut-shop drive-thru or the vending machine," says Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., president of Mohr Results, a fitness and nutrition consulting firm in Louisville, Kentucky. (Now if I could just stop baking crap to eat. I guess I just need to instantly give it away or something. Leave a comment to be placed on that list.)

#6 Think like a biochemist
Cookies made with organic cane juice might sound like something your yoga teacher would eat, but they won't help her fit into her Lycra pants. Junk food by any other name is still junk. Ditto for lots of "health foods" in the granola aisle. "Natural" sweeteners like honey raise blood sugar just like the white stuff.
"If you're going to eat cookies, accept that you're deviating from your plan, and then revert to your diet afterward," Berkowitz says. Kidding yourself will only get you into trouble. (I love that. I totally need to quit "kidding myself" about pretty much everything I put into my face.)

Spot hunger impostors
Have a craving for sweets even though you ate just an hour ago? Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak instead. "If you're truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eat," says Richard Feinman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. "If it doesn't sound good, your brain is playing tricks on you." (Genius! Dur! I love this idea.)
His advice: Change your environment, which can be as easy as stretching at your desk or turning your attention to a different task.

Anyway, I know it's not even Christmas yet, but I am way excited to make these changes & quit stressing about "dieting" and just create better lifetime habits. So yeah, there ya go, hope you learned something! Hopefully you'll see how well I'm doing soon! Kierst, I'm gonna need those jeans back! ;


Dugovic Domain said...

I loved this! Kay, so I've been to hell and back the last few days because people that we know and love have been finiding out that they, or their children have cancer on this lovely, lovely holdiay season. It's HORRIBLE, and my New Year's resolution really is going to be to EAT HEALTHIER and exercise EVERY day. Then, if I or my child or my husband happens to get cancer, at least I'll have the peace of mind knowing that I did my part to help them be the healthiest people possible. I don't know how much of cancer is linked to good or poor nutrition, but good nutrition is definitely a goal worth striving for regardless. So, we're gonna eat some serious pie and prime rib and junk junk junk for the last few days of December, but come Jan 1st - it's all gonna be a thing of the past baby! I'm not usually one to get all sorts of excited about amking resolutions either, but I'm officially cancer-freaked this year, so it's on! I'm glad you posted this - Those really are great tips!

tanalicious said...

Mrs. Phillip Rivers,
I have two suggestions. and a book called Sugarbusters! This is Tana's husband. I'm in to working out and nutrition. crossfit kicks ass and I have implemented the diet. Just for example. I train Tana, her body fat has gone from 23% down to 15%. It is hard but if your into that sort of thing, you would probably like it. And I think Matt and Phillip Rivers look alot alike, hence the opening line. He it the quarterback for the Chargers.

Kierstin said...

Oh, you sexy, mind-warped, unknowingly-beautiful friend of mine... you have never, do not now, and never will look fat or ugly. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL with or without your True Religion's. I'm planning on getting back into my jeans in the next 3 months so you'll get your sexy jeans back! I love you soooooo much! xo (thanks for the compliments, they make my day :)