So, here you go again…another new year and another parade of new diet enthusiasts marching through your clinic door, determined to make their new year’s diet resolution a success. You hear, “I’m going to “stick” to my diet this year and lose 30 pounds by March, eat salads for breakfast – lunch – dinner and absolutely zero snacking in between and IÂ need you to help me do it!” I’m sure you’ve heard that over-promised, over-enthusiastic tone one too many times to only experience these new diet enthusiasts giving up and quitting your program by early February. “Not off to a great start” you think to yourself. Â Sound familiar?
Thousands of optimistic dieters start the new year out with good intentions, but very few follow through on their diet plan, leaving them feeling angryÂ and frustrated. There may actually be a reason for this sudden desire to stray from their diet.Â Experts believe that by the 4th day of a new year’s resolution, actions tend to wear off and good intentions become just a fading memory. We’ve all been there at one time or another, right?
Rest assured, there are steps you can take as a weight loss coach to ensure that what was once an enthusiastic client’s well intended new year’s resolution, turns into life long healthy habits.
- Portion Control.Â Â Coach your clients on portion control by advising them to use smaller plates and cups for all meals. Â You may even ask them to consider traveling with their own plates to ensure “on the road success”. Â Smaller plates, simply means smaller portions.
- Getting active. Too many of us live sedentaryÂ lives. We sit at a desk from 9-5, we sit in our cars while commuting to and from work, we sit at the dinner table and we sit around watching the evening news. That’s a lot of sitting! Â Advise your clients to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. It doesn’t have to be high impact exercise, simply walking a mile or two or light aerobics will do. Â In order to be physically fit or lose extra weight, we have to move our bodies!
- Maintaining a relationship with a healthcare provider. Â Advise your clients to see their physician regularly. This is the best way for your clients to monitor their weight, blood pressure, and other conditions throughout the years as well asÂ keeping the client accountable for their own health.
- Drinking more water.Â Water is so important and sometimes we have too many other choices, so we just don’t get adequate water intake. Water will keep your clients hydrated and keep them feeling fuller for longer because water is a natural appetite suppressant. Tell your clients about the 8/8 rule – drink at least eight – 8 ounces of water a day and while exercising, drink even more.
- Trying new healthy recipes.Â Encourage your clients to try one new recipe a week. Adding new flavors, new textures and aromas to a diet, can keep diet fatigue at bay.
- Eating meals at the dining table. Â We have all been guilty of eating in front of the television or computer from time to time but this is a big distraction from mindful eatingÂ (eating slowly and without distraction, listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full while enjoying taste, texture and smells).
- Keeping a food diary on paper. Â This keeps one accountable for food choices and gives them a snapshot of where they may have gone astray.
- Getting to bed early. Â Getting adequate sleep is not only important for improving our cognitive abilities but may also reduce hormone related weight gain.
- Drafting up a commitment contract every new year.Â Once a year, in January, draft up a contract for your clients, witness, and have your clients sign. This will keep them accountable for staying on their diet & continuing their good habits throughout the year.
Just remember, It’s easy to pick up bad habits and hard to drop them and in contrast, It’s hard to pick up good habits and easy to drop them.
Happy New Year!
Title Image by Pixabay.
Todays, Dietitian Magazine –http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/011813_news.shtmlÂ ,Â http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/tdmay2007pg50.shtml
Mindful Eating Organization -Â http://thecenterformindfuleating.org/