With the new year comes resolutions, and it’s no surprise that the No. 1 resolution every year is weight loss — or some version of it. How many times have we made New Year’s resolutions that have faded in the first quarter? It happens to all of us. Here are some tips to help you lose weight successfully and help turn that short-term resolution into a long-term healthy lifestyle.
What gets measured gets managed. Set a realistic goal with a realistic plan. Don’t try to lose 5 pounds or a pants size in a week.
You are what you eat. About 70 percent of weight loss efforts relate to caloric intake. Eat well, and try to focus on eating whole foods as opposed to processed foods. Drink adequate water. Reduce portion size. Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly, and eat at the table, without phone or TV as a distraction to prevent overeating. Stop eating when you are satisfied.
Exercise regularly. Check with your doctor first, but in general: For good health: 2.5 hours of moderate activity (brisk walking, slow bike riding) or 1.25 hours of vigorous activity (running, fast bike riding) each week. For weight loss: 1 hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity. This can be pieced together in short bursts of 10 minutes or more. Avoid sitting too much, and limit sedentary activity such as TV and video games.
Book it. Keep a diary of weight, body measurements, meals, and exercise. Daily written/visual checklists will help hold you accountable. As you record more, you’ll start to learn what motivates you to stay on track. List how you felt after a specific meal. This will help you realize what types of food give you energy and what ones make you feel sluggish and unmotivated.
Don’t let a setback derail you. When the wedding, birthday party, family get-together is over, it's time to get right back on track.
Treat days, not cheat days. Birthday? Anniversary? Don’t let those special moments terrorize you. You are allowed to enjoy things (of course, in moderation) on special days without feeling guilty.
Relax. Stress can cause you to overeat or stifle motivation. Get a good eight hours of sleep. Practice relaxation techniques. Some examples can be deep breathing, guided imagery, reading, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or trying yoga or stretching.
Dr. Kajal Puranik is a primary care provider with Porter Physician Group at Portage Medical Group. She is accepting new patients. For an appointment, visit porterphysicians.com or call 844-PPG-DOCS (774-3627).