You've downed two mimosas and find your hand reaching for another croissant as you recount last Thanksgiving's traumatic episode with your in-laws from hell to your girlfriends during Sunday brunch. Oh well, you think, I may as well indulge before I start my new cleanse on New Year's Day.
The massive food orgy that begins around Thanksgiving and abruptly halts on New Year's Day provides endless opportunities to abandon all logic and devour a second piece of your favorite dessert. Your justification sounds perfectly rational: You'll make Jan. 1 that magic day where you'll never again touch another pecan pumpkin torte and finally attain fast and lasting fat loss.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly even when it doesn't work. We consistently buy into that familiar logic of debauchery followed by austerity, even though we know it's a surefire strategy for failure.
For 2014, I'm appealing a different approach. Rather than make a seismic shift, let's take small but powerfully effective steps to get lean and healthy. Here are nine effective strategies to take control now. That way, if you have New Year's Day regrets, getting on the scales won't be one of them.
- Start every morning with a protein shake. I've had clients do nothing else and still get amazing results by ditching their carb-bomb breakfast for a fast, easy protein shake. A meta-analysis found a nutrient-fortified meal replacement shake could improve weight loss maintenance. I blend plant-based (but not soy) protein powder with freshly ground flax seed, frozen raspberries, raw kale, and unsweetened coconut milk for a fast, filling meal that keeps me focused all morning.
1. University of Washington Study. 2002. Reported in Integrated and Alternative Medicine Clinical Highlights. 4:1(16).