If you’re struggling with your weight loss goals or you’re ready to improve your health and fitness, triumph with these six simple changes to your diet, lifestyle and mentality.
Sometimes just knowing where to start when you want to make a lifestyle change can be the hardest. But, as two of our employees share with us, applying some simple tips and tricks can yield the results you want.
Recently, retail employees at the Shops at Renown competed in a Biggest Loser-type contest to see who could lose the highest percentage body fat during a six-week period.
Lidia Palmer, accounting clerk the Shops at Renown and Chris Wyatt, chef and Retail Manager, were the two top “Biggest Losers” out of more than 30. By the end of the contest, Lidia lost 6% of her body weight with Chris at a close second with a loss of 5.8%. Overall, the department lost 98 pounds collectively and 18 employees lost 2 to 6% of their starting weight.
Are you up for the challenge?
Try these six fitness and weight loss tips from our “Biggest Losers” for the next six weeks or create your own contest with co-workers or friends.
Watch your snacking.
“I became aware of my snacking habits. I didn’t realize how many calories I was eating just with a handful of chips,” Lidia says. One of her snacking swaps was ice cream before bed for a 100-calorie Greek yogurt.
Studies have shown when it comes to snacking if something is convenient, attractive and normal you’re more likely to make better food choices. For example, you should keep healthy snacks in the fridge and cut and wash all vegetables when you get home from the store so they are ready to eat.
“I drank a ton of water,” Chris explains. Dehydration can make you feel hungry which can lead to unnecessary snacking.
Try carrying a refillable water bottle with you to remind you to drink frequently throughout the day.
Both Lidia and Chris increased their activity in addition to adjusting their food choices. Lidia attended Renown’s employee yoga classes and joined a Jazzercise class with a friend. Chris took advantage of the warm weather outside by running and throwing the football with his sons.
Not all exercise has to be completed in a class or at the gym. Exercise in a fun, adventurous way by hiking, bike riding or scavenger hiking.
Online resources are a great source of information for people looking for healthy eating and portion tips. Chris suggests a resource like ChooseMyPlate.gov. There are also hundreds of apps available that help you track distance, calories and offer healthy recipes all as a way to help you meet your goals.
One thing at a time.
If you don’t know where to start or feel overwhelmed with your fitness goals, Chris suggests starting with either a diet change or exercise and then gradually adding in the other components. “Get comfortable with one change before starting the other,” he says.
Find a fun way to reward yourself for hitting your milestones along your weight-loss journey. Not only can it help keep you motivated, it’s an inexpensive way to celebrate your successes and fitness milestones. So go ahead and download that new album you love to dance to, buy yourself flowers or treat yourself to a spa or massage day.
Consider a diet change.
Chris went mostly vegetarian during this competition, only eating fish on occasion, but he also focused on smaller portions and more fruits and grains. “In my position, I’m always testing out different diets,” he says.
An easy place to start changing your diet is with some simple food swaps — for example, your daily soda for some sparkling water with orange slices — and modifying your perspective and lifestyle behaviors. You can also control your portion sizes with a smaller plate, pre-make your meals for the week and eat fruit when you’re craving a sweet treat.
Try this tasty seared salmon and spring salad recipe created by Chris that is done in nearly 30 minutes, full of healthy omega-3s and just less than 350 calories.
- 6 ounce salmon
- 1 cup loose spring mix
- 1 ounce grilled red onion
- 1 ounce grilled zucchini
- 1 ounce grilled yellow squash
- 1 ounce grilled red pepper
- 4 each cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 tea olive oil, separated
- Nonstick oil spray, like Pam or an olive oil spray
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Spray sliced vegetable with a small amount of nonstick spray.
- Grill vegetables for 2 to 4 minutes per side, remove from grill and refrigerate.
- Lightly season one side of salmon with salt and pepper.
- Heat a nonstick, oven ready pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the hot pan.
- Gently put salmon in pan, seasoned side down.
- Sear salmon for 2 to 4 minutes for desired color.
- Flip salmon and place pan into oven at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.
- While the salmon is in the oven, toss spring mix with 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), desired amount of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
- Place salad mixture on a plate, arrange grilled vegetables and tomatoes with the seared salmon and enjoy.
- Preparation and Cooking Tips
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before preparing, including lemons.
- Your nonstick pan needs to be hot before adding the oil.
- To ensure fish is thoroughly cook, finish it in the oven.
- If you like a little spice with your fish, use a sprinkle of crushed red pepper.