This year I resolve to…


By: Mona Rosene, MS

This year I resolve to...

Once again you vow to lose that unwanted weight, and this is the year you will DO IT! No cheating. But something usually happens that makes you break your resolution or try it at a different time. Whatever your reason for quitting, you are not alone. Read on and see how you can keep your resolution, for good!

Americans spend billions of dollars each year searching for the magic pill to lose weight. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994, the prevalence of obesity grew from 25% to 33% between 1980 and 1990, an astounding 40% relative increase! Simply said, "We are fat, and getting fatter"! It is estimated that at least half the adult population in the United States is somewhat overweight. The two behaviors most closely related to obesity, over consumption of food and high calorie beverages, and low levels of physical activity, contribute to more than 300,000 potentially avoidable deaths each year.

But how do we change this fact? First, see your doctor and make sure you are able to begin an exercise and weight loss program. Then, consult with a registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer or an exercise physiologist so they can design a personal meal plan and workout that is best for you. Do not let advertisements entice you into wasting your money on a new supplement that promises amazing results in a very short period of time. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Remember, you did not gain the weight overnight, do not expect to lose it overnight. The old fashion way of a healthy diet and exercise is the answer. Follow these few suggestions and you will be on your way to achieving your resolution:

  1. Keep a log of the food you eat and your exercise. If you have to write it down, you are more likely to stick with the exercise and skip that piece of cake your co-worker brought.
  2. Make realistic goals. Don't vow to lose 30 pounds the first month, 4-8 pounds/month is more realistic and is likely to stay off.
  3. Don't skip meals, eating increases your metabolism. Eat 4-6 small meals each day versus three large meals. Also, don't deprive yourself of your favorite food, indulging every so often won't hurt.
  4. Add strength training to your exercise routine, muscle burns fat! Although muscle weighs more than fat, it takes up less room, therefore you can wear smaller sizes.
  5. Last but not least, stick with it! It takes at least six weeks to notice changes from fat loss, so the days your dead tired and don't want to workout go anyway, you will feel better about yourself and reinforce your new habit!

Recommended Book:

References:

  1. Kuczmarski Rj, Flegal KM, Campbell SM, Johnson CL. Increasing prevalence of overweight among US adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys, 1960-1991. JAMA. 1994:272, 205-211.
  2. McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA. 1993:270, 2207-2212.

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