Kickstart your motivation to get healthy for life.By Woman's Day Staff
When it comes to weight loss, Dr. Oz has seen it all. Since launching The Dr. Oz Show in 2009, he's met and featured hundreds of people who have lost more than 100 pounds just by changing their habits. The secret he's learned from those who have succeeded long-term is to set yourself up to stay motivated. "Once people start to lose weight, they feel good and they're excited to keep going. But that fades. To combat this, build in some easy lifestyle changes that will keep you focused on your health. Eventually, those changes become permanent," he says. In other words, automate your lifestyle. Here, Dr. Oz helps you tackle the most common weight loss hurdles that squelch motivation so you can drop-and keep off-5, 10, 25 pounds or more! Photo by Brian Doben; hair by Anne Sampogna; makeup by Linda Melo; prop styling by Joe Maer; T-shirt by Hanes Cool Dri Tagless Available at Hanes.com
No ideas for breakfast?
DR. OZ SAYS: Eat the same foods every A.M.
A recent study showed that women who ate the same meals every day consumed an average of 100 fewer calories over the course of 24 hours. One of the best times to do this is in the morning. Your body has been fasting all night, and you're gearing up for the day ahead. Start strong with yogurt and blueberries, as I always do. This dish has plenty of protein (to help stave off hunger) and vitamins.
No time to cook healthy meals?
DR. OZ SAYS: Make dinner in bulk!
Sunday night is family time. We gather in the kitchen to make food for the whole week. Usually we cook up an evening meal big enough to provide leftovers for the next day or two, then make soups and stews for other dinners and freeze them (we're huge fans of stackable glass containers, like this Pyrex one).
While we're at it, we prep extra raw vegetables and store them in the fridge. We microwave them as the week goes on, or eat them raw with some peanut butter as a snack. Peanut butter is affordable, nutrient-dense and helps you stay full.
Eating healthy seem too expensive?
DR. OZ SAYS: Don't buy everything fresh
It might take a bit more creativity to consume healthy food on the cheap, but a recent study from the USDA shows that when you analyze price per portion, healthy food and junk food can cost about the same. What drives up price is availability, and you can get around that by buying frozen or canned goods, which are sometimes nutritionally similar to their fresh counterparts. (In certain cases, more so. Once food is harvested, it begins to lose nutrients. Because frozen and canned goods are usually preserved at the peak of freshness, you're often getting them with maximum nutritional value.) Also, buy what's in season. In our house, we'll often combine the two strategies: We buy a lot of blueberries when they're more abundant and less expensive, then freeze them so we can eat them year-round.
TRY THESE GOOD-FOR-YOU PICKS
Frozen green beans
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DR. OZ SAYS: Find an activity you loveAmericans put back on about a third of the pounds they lose within a year, and the remainder within three to five years. That's because after losing weight, many people just return to their old habits. Buck this trend by finding an exercise routine you enjoy. That might mean putting a favorite yoga video on your computer and in your DVD player so you don't have to go searching for it. Or maybe it's signing up for a ballroom dance class with a partner.
Can't control your cravings?
DR. OZ SAYS: Have a treat
Life isn't all or nothing. Studies show that we get the most satisfaction out of the first bite of food. Give yourself permission to eat a bite, savor it very slowly, then walk away. After I have a bite of cake, I'll wash it down with several sips of water to get the taste out of my mouth, then focus on another activity to take my mind off the indulgence.
Related: 15 Best Diet Foods For Pre-Bikini Season
Hate to exercise?
DR. OZ SAYS: Take it easy
A workout doesn't have to be vigorous. One new study found that people who do low-intensity exercise, such as walking, for a collectively longer amount of time may enjoy more health benefits than if they did shorter, more intense workouts. Buy a pedometer or tracking device (like a Fitbit, below)-you'll be surprised by how easy it is to increase your score with little changes, like taking the stairs or getting up during TV commercials.