3 Steps to a Successful Weight Management Plan

With a new year comes added pressure to make large-scale lifestyle changes. How many times have you decided to eat healthier, only to lose your path by February or March? Quick fixes, weight loss programs, diet shakes, and 30-day challenges or food cleanses sound like easy ideas when they promise the results you are hoping to experience.

But when you are living with type 2 diabetes, it is essential to treat your body well and create a sustainable weight management plan that works for you. Here are a few steps to encourage a more successful approach to weight loss and making healthier food choices.

1. Don't call it a diet

When we think of diets, we often think of short-term changes that will help us lose 5 to 10 pounds, and then we can go back to our old habits. Sadly, this is never fruitful and can instead lead to a weight gain of even more than we lost in the first place.

Going in with a healthy mindset is the best way to make it work. If you are irritated, upset, or angry that you have to change your eating habits, the process will likely be over immediately with no progress. Set reasonable goals, go slowly, and be kind to yourself.

2. Slowly layer on new habits

Trying a cleanse? Eliminating all carbohydrates? Going cold turkey with fad diets leads to increased hunger, driving you to throw in the towel on your weight management plans quickly. Many fad diets don't promote long-term and sustained results. Instead of naming your diet, choose new habits and layer habits on top of one another. Once you implement one practice, then you can try adding another.

Eat fast food in moderation

If you are a "frequent flyer" in the drive-thru lane, choosing to do it less often is already a significant step in the right direction. Grabbing a fast food meal with healthier substitutions is possible, too! Skipping the drive-thru means more meal planning, which will lead to higher vegetable and lower saturated fat intake.

Drink more water

Choosing to increase your water intake means you are decreasing other liquids such as pop, iced tea, creamy coffee drinks, etc. Drinking more water can also lead to more energy and less snacking.

Add in more vegetables to your meals

Simply choosing to focus on eating more vegetables can do loads of good for the body. Vegetables have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that the body craves and needs to function. Slow and steady wins the race, so try serving vegetables with dinner each day and progressively increasing servings at lunch and even snacks.

3. Don't be discouraged when you experience a setback

Life happens. Work, illness, and busyness can get in the way. We don't always have enough time to work out, meal plan, grocery shop, and pack homemade lunches.

When progress slows or even stops, do not be tempted to quit altogether—making lifestyle changes that last can take a long time with a lot of practice and even a few failures. Be sure to reach out to your physician or registered dietitian if you have specific questions about diet changes for you.

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