Sticking to a Weight Loss Program Doesn’t Mean Missing Out on Life

By author photo Jenny Craig Team

hints-and-tips

Worried that your weight loss plan will cause you to miss out? Read on.

Think “diet” or “weight loss program” and you might imagine a joyless lifestyle that completely shuns every aspect of life that you consider fun: dessert and dinner parties, drinks with friends, take-away Fridays in front of the couch. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The goal of sticking to a weight loss program, aside from losing weight, is to get more out of life, not less. When you’re at your goal weight, or even while you’re working towards it, you’re likely to have more energy, better sleep, and a whole lot of other non-scale victories that improve your quality of life. But if you’re still unsure about how to enjoy life while you’re on a weight loss plan, keep these tips in mind.


Smart socialising

For many people, socialising means meeting up with their friends for a wine (or two, or five!), dinner and dessert at a restaurant, or at barbecues and dinner parties. All of these things are still possible while you’re on a weight loss plan (OK, perhaps not the five wines!) if you plan ahead. You don’t have to miss out, at all.

If you’re eating out with friends, suggest going to a restaurant with more healthy options. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place, and these tend to have a higher proportion of vegetable based menu options. Some Asian cuisines are also heavy on fresh vegetables and salads (think, Vietnamese or Thai). And just because your friend next to you orders the butter chicken, doesn’t mean you have to. Speak with your Jenny Craig Consultant about making smart choices when dining out.

As for alcoholic beverages, none are particularly good for you,so it’s best to stick to 1-2 standard drinks a week. . Meeting up with friends for a wine, once a week can be compatible with a weight loss program. That doesn’t mean overindulging from Thursday to Sunday night, weekly.


Find an exercise you enjoy

If the thought of sweating it out in a gym leaves you cold, you need to find a type of exercise or physical activity you enjoy. Yoga, Pilates, dance, walking, running, hiking, swimming, aqua jogging, tennis, team sports (netball, soccer, etc.), kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, paddle boarding, fitness videos in the comfort of your lounge…. There are so many fun ways to get active, so think outside the box.

It’s also important to remember that exercise tends to get easier, the more you do it. So even if you had a horrible experience on the treadmill the first time you hit the gym, it’s worth sticking with it for a few weeks if a gym program has been recommended to you. You may amaze yourself with how much more you can achieve after a short time.


Exercise with friends

As with other aspects of your weight loss plan, exercising will be easier and more enjoyable if you do it with friends. That could mean hitting the gym or an exercise class together, but it could also mean beach walks or going for a bike ride.

Exercise shouldn’t be a chore, and neither is it taking time away from other, enjoyable aspects of life. You’re more likely to see it in a positive light if you’re having fun with friends.


Embrace healthy meal preparation

A major part of being on a weight loss program is changing your food habits and preparing healthier meals. Whether or not you’ve always enjoyed cooking, being on a weight loss plan is an ideal time to get serious in the kitchen. In a good way. Learn to cook healthy and diverse meals with fresh ingredients and meal time will never seem like a chore. Soon enough, your friends will be asking to come over to your place for dinner rather than meeting at a restaurant!

Here are some great recipes for inspiration to get you started:
Dhal with spiced greens
Ratatouille
Pesto pasta salad with caramelised leek and onion


Treat yourself with better choices

Many people reward themselves with food, or use food as an emotional support when they’re feeling down. If you do want to continue indulging in comfort food after a hard day, choose some healthier options than the junk food you might be used to. These apple donuts are yummy and guilt free, and they look pretty, too. Alternatively, this creamy cauliflower soup is made with skim milk and may be just what you feel like on a cold winter evening. The Jenny Craig website and your Consultant are founts of healthy cooking knowledge, so make the most of them.

On the other hand, you can also try rewarding yourself with non-food-related treats. Food is an important fuel and it’s healthy to see it as that, rather than as something that should be given or withheld for emotional reasons. Celebrate an achievement with a new lipstick or nail polish colour or unwind after a hard day in a bubble bath with candles. Take food out of the celebration equation until you really need it to fuel your body.

Sticking to a weight loss plan doesn’t mean missing out on life. Being on a weight loss program does take a bit of a mindset shift and the willingness to change some habits, but you can have as much fun–in fact, even more fun–living a healthy lifestyle.

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