Ready to make 2012 your best year yet for your body, your health, and your life? Many people are familiar with the Atkins Diet, which has helped millions of people lose weight and improve their health. Here's how to use the plan to achieve your weight-loss resolutions, plus two delicious, low-carb comfort food recipes to keep you satisfied.
Small changes lead to big results. When you try to change too many things at once, you may be sabotaging yourself. For example, instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds, set a more realistic goal of 10 pounds. This simple change sets you up for success instead of likely failure. Once you lost that first 10 pounds, set a new goal to lose another 10 or 15 pounds. In addition, if you are a diehard couch potato, resolving to work out seven days a week for hours at a time is unrealistic, and could lead to burnout or even injury. Start slowly to make exercise a part of your routine by walking a couple of miles five days a week. Once this becomes a pattern, and you start seeing results, add another activity (like weight training or yoga) or increase your distance or speed.
Lose weight together. You're more apt to eat healthy and exercise if you have a friend, spouse or relative who joins forces with you. Knowing there is someone who is relying on you to meet him or her at the gym at a certain time or prepare an Atkins-friendly dinner makes it easier to stick to your weight-loss resolutions. You can also track your progress together and share your successes and challenges.
Don't sweat a slip-up. It happens to everyone at some point. Whether you lose your battle with the breadbasket or ate the French fries that came with your hamburger at lunch, don't use these moments of weakness as excuses to indulge in a mountain of carbs and throw all your other resolutions out the window. Savor the bread or the French fries, and then get right back on track by making your next meal a low-carb one. If you've skipped a couple workouts, get back on the exercise bandwagon by going for a walk.
Be prepared. Doing Atkins right is all about having the right food at hand. Your first step? Purge your kitchen of all the foods that may threaten to derail your progress. Hit the grocery and restock your pantry and refrigerator with Atkins-friendly foods so that you'll always be able to put together a tasty low-carb meal or snack. Stock your fridge with cheese, eggs, tofu, rotisserie chicken, sliced roast beef, ham or turkey, hard salami and other cold cuts, salad fixings and cut-up vegetables for easy snacking. Make sure your freezer has frozen hamburger patties, lamb chops and/or pork chops, shrimp and chicken breasts or thighs in individual zip-top bags so that you can defrost them quickly. Pack your pantry with tuna or salmon in cans or vacuum bags, sardines, crab meat and clams, Vienna sausages, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated roasted red peppers, and olives.
Embrace your inner chef. Even if you didn't cook a lot before, eating the Atkins way has just become even easier with the launch of The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. When the weather outside is cold and you're craving cozy comfort food dishes that are low-carb, yet still delicious and satisfying, this cookbook has plenty of options. Try these warming dishes:
-Green Chile Pork Stew Recipe
-Peppery-Spicy Baby Back Ribs Recipe
-Chili-Cheese Crisps Recipe
-Speedy Spinach Dip
10 Commandments for Weight Loss for Life
Pantry Makeover: Replace the Old Processed Goods with Healthy Snacks
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