With the turning of a new year comes the desire for renewal and change. One of the common resolutions that are made with each coming new year is the desire to lose weight and get back into shape. Gone should be the days of an unattainable goal that requires starvation and killing yourself at the gym.
I decided for my first column of the new year that I wanted to share with you the tools I use to maintain a healthy weight and overall healthy lifestyle.
The problem with fad diets and extreme weight loss regimes is that they are difficult to maintain for long periods of time. What happens is, while we are motivated and focused we push forward through the pain and inconvenience and push to reach our goals. Overtime as life begins to get in the way and our motivation wanes we lose our drive.
When diets are extreme and "fad" filled that loss of motivation causes a backslide into old habits. This backslide picks up momentum and before we know it we have regained the weight that we lost plus a little more and returned to the bad habits that were always there but were hidden under our new found motivation. The great news is that it does not have to be this way.
The key components to losing and maintaining a healthy weight are actually quite simple. The problem is that in our world we want fast and easy. There is no magic pill or formula to make the weight come off and stay off. The mantra that I follow and that my clients and patients follow is made up of three ideas.
1. You must eat purposefully
2. You must watch your portion control
3. You must get moving
You must make a conscious decision about everything you put into your mouth. No more thoughtless eating, no more eating for convenience, no more eating food that you do not know what it really is.
When you force yourself to be aware of what you put into your mouth you force yourself to use judgment. This judgment keeps you from eating an entire bag of chips. Purposeful eating requires you to plan ahead so you do not make a bad snap decision later.
You must eat in moderation. You can have the chocolate cake but you should only have a few bites not a whole piece. You need to learn the portion sizes appropriate for you. Meat and carbs the size of your fist, vegetables should make up half of your plate.
The American Heart Association states that we should fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. The key here is to know that the 30 minutes can be spread out throughout the day. Get your heart rate up for 10 minutes three times a day and you are meeting the minimal standard. Over time add in longer segments of exercise and before you know it exercise has become a part of your life.
It is impossible to maintain a healthy weight, long term without some form of regular exercise.
For additional information, visit rnforwellness.com.