Monday can be like a mini-New Year’s: People see a new week as a fresh start for their health goals. A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that there were 30 percent more healthy searches on Mondays than on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. So why not start a Monday routine that helps you reach your weight loss goal faster?
Let’s make those new-week resolutions stick throughout the week.
Try these seven easy strategies for your Monday routine that will speed up your weight loss results all week:
1. Fill up a big water bottle.
Start your Monday routine burning more calories by chugging a big glass of cold water. A study found that when people drank six cups (48 ounces) of cold water, they increased their resting calorie burn by up to 50 calories per day. Another study found that dieters who drank two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals lost 36 percent more weight over three months than those who didn’t sip before sitting down to eat. So fill ‘er up every Monday morning.
2. Get chopping.
Part of the reason people are addicted to so-called convenience foods is just that—they’re convenient. It’s easy to unwrap a package or open a bag of chips or hit the vending machine.
Start your Monday routine by making healthy choices that are just as convenient: Spend a little time before work chopping veggies, berries and fruit into small, grab-and-go containers that you can stock in the fridge and carry to the office all week. When you get a little peckish in the afternoon, remember to reach for these instead of pumping quarters into the vending machine—even if you only make the healthy choice three or four times per week, you’ll reduce your caloric intake and speed your weight loss.
For when you don’t have time to chop up fruits and veggies, Nutrisystem offers plenty of healthy, convenient options to munch on. Click here to discover them all! >
3. Set your phone’s alarm to chirp every three hours.
When it goes off, get up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, but research suggests that it doesn’t matter if you exercise for two-and-a-half hours straight or break it up into 10-minute chunks.
So set your phone’s alarm to go off every three hours and hop up for five to 10 minutes—walk to the coffee machine, out to lunch, to chat with a coworker about a project in person instead of over email. By the end of the week, you’ll have burned as many as 200 extra calories per day and it may even make you more creative at work: A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that when people walked, they gave more creative answers on tests of creative thinking than when others did the same problems while seated.
4. Review your calendar.
Your Monday routine should include planning for the week ahead. Got any lunch meetings this week or dinners out with friends? Review where you’re going and fire up your phone: Look at the menus in advance to find items that fit your weight loss plan. Many chain restaurants list calorie counts for their menus online, so you can walk into the restaurant confident that there’s something you can order that will keep you on track while you enjoy time with friends or coworkers—and because you’ll be ready in advance, you won’t have to sweat it when you sit down.
If you are planning to go out, be sure to review the Nutrisystem Eating Out Guide, which tells you what to eat at every type of restaurant so that you can stay on track. Click on the link below to see what you can eat no matter where you are!
5. Sharpen your pencil.
And keep it in your food log. Just by writing down what you eat, you can lose almost twice as much weight—that was the result of a 2008 study of food logs.
Of course, you can use your phone if you don’t like pen and paper: In a small study from 2014, researchers found that those who used a smartphone to track their eating were actually 20 percent more consistent in logging their meals compared to those who used a notebook. The NuMi App for your phone is designed to help you lose weight. Click here to see why logging food on the NuMi App helps you lose weight! >
6. Set a daily alarm…for bed.
Going to bed at the same time every night—and getting a full night of shuteye—can help you lose weight. When your sleep schedule is off, the hormones that control your appetite can get funky. Ghrelin, a hormone that gives you an appetite, can increase, while leptin, which makes you feel satisfied, can take a dip. How much can this mess up your weight loss? By more than 30 percent: In a 16-year study of more than 68,000 women published in 2006, those who slept fewer than five hours per night were 32 percent more likely to gain 33 pounds or more over the course of the study, compared to those who got seven or more hours of shuteye each night. So set that alarm and listen to it—go to bed!
7. Write down your goals.
Setting goals as part of your Monday routine is a great way to give you a fresh start every week. Many dieters get complacent over time as they get bored and lose focus. The excitement of a brand new weight loss program, of new change, wears off—which could help explain why healthy searches peter out as the week rolls on from Monday.
Keep your motivation high and your focus locked in by writing down your goals on Monday—for the week, for the month and for the length of your weight loss journey. Make sure to include some short-term goals: A study from 2011 found that people who reached small, realistic physical activity goals saw direct benefits for their quality of life and overall condition. Once it’s written on Monday, keep the list somewhere you can review it every morning—on your desk, in the center console of your car, or by the door at home where you grab your keys. You’ll refresh your motivation every day, so next Monday won’t be a new “New Year,” it will just be a continuation of your road to success.