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How to Realistically Lose Weight

Several types of fuit, including blueberries, strawberries, pears and apples, sit against a white background.
(Image: © Fruit photo via Shutterstock)

Early January is when many of us begin to deeply regret overindulgences during the holiday season. And as the dust settles on our New Year’s resolutions, we start questioning their feasibility. I mean, how can anyone really expect us to go to the gym everyday?

Now is when I usually remind clients that weight loss isn’t an all-or-nothing kind of game. Regardless of your resolutions, you can make healthy choices that will improve your life, and your weight, in 2013. It doesn’t require a major lifestyle overhaul or even a starvation diet.

You can still be your wonderful self; just a little healthier. The trick is to manage your expectations. If you’re a working mom with five kids under the age of 10, you’re probably not going to get to the gym very often. But you can still be healthier. Start with small steps and work your way up.

Here are some simple tips for shedding pounds in 2013:

•   Eat more fiber. A 2009 study in the journal Appetite found that people who ate apples, a high-fiber food, consumed 15 percent fewer calories than those who ate lower-fiber versions of this food, including applesauce and apple juice.

•   Make exercise easy. Isn’t that a novel concept? Find some exercise videos that you can do at home on those days when you can’t go for a jog or get to the gym. There are even some videos that break up workouts into 10-minute increments. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes to spare?

•   Cut the fat. Resolutions tend to be unforgiving. "I’m going fat-free in 2013" or "I’m giving up chocolate completely." I’ve found that diets work much better when you don’t exclude any one group of foods. Still, cutting back on fat is a good thing. Make a habit of eating more vegetables, which are fat-free, and you’ll have less room for the fattening foods.

•   Use smaller plates. A 2006 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who were given ice cream in a larger bowl ate 57 percent more than the control group. Downsizing your dishes is a fairly effortless way to lose weight. You may not even notice the smaller portions, but you will notice the pounds you’ll lose over time.

Healthy Bites appears on MyHealthNewsDaily on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. 


Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!