SMART means being Specific, Measured, Appropriate, Realistic, and Time-bound about what you plan to achieve. For example, if your goal is to increase your physical activity, then write down the type of activity you plan to do, how many times you can realistically do it each week, and for how long each time. Start with small, short, and easier goals, and work your way up.
Before starting to reach your next goal, offer yourself a promise like this, "If I reach my goal this (day, week, and month), I will treat myself to a well-deserved (Fill in a reward here, but not a food reward.)." Think of something you want, such as an afternoon off, a massage, a movie, or even a deposit toward a larger reward. Be creative, set up rewards for yourself frequently, and make sure you give them to yourself when you reach your goal.
Keep a diary of what you eat and how much physical activity you get each day. Then, at the end of each week, record your weight in the same diary. You and your health provider can use this information to adjust your eating and physical activity plan to find the best way to reach your goal.
Did you know that we eat most of what is on our plate, no matter what the size of the plate?
When at home, try using smaller plates; they will help you take smaller portions. When eating out, share an entrée! Studies show that portions today are often super-sized-enough for two or more people to share.
You need to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, most days of the week to help burn up extra calories. But give yourself credit for the activities that you're already doing. Common activities such as climbing stairs, pushing a stroller, gardening, and walking all count as physical activity. Just make sure you do enough of them.
The question may take longer to answer than you think. It takes 15 minutes or more for the message that we're full to get from our stomachs to our brains. So take a few minutes before digging in for that next helping. Having trouble feeling full? Eight glasses (8 ounces each) or more of water or other non-caloric beverages daily fills you mup and keeps you refreshed. Also, vegetables and fruits can help you feel fuller, especially when eaten raw.