Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Resolution: WEIGHT LOSS

I've never understood the whole New Year's Resolution kick. It's just another day. I get that it's a day to start anew but let's be honest, that Saturday was no different than any other Saturday throughout the year except for that you might have been a tad bit more hungover than normal. Happy 2011 by the way! I hope it was an eventful, safe evening for you all. We rang in the new year on a very low key note playing Yahtzee with good friends. Exactly what this pregnant body had in mind.

I wouldn't doubt that most of you resolutioner's waited to start your resolutions until Monday, Jan. 3rd, especially if weight loss was on the top of the list. Who really wanted to forego the chips and dip watching football with friends all weekend? Funny how we can always find an excuse to start eating better...tomorrow. Or next week. Before you know it, we're gonna be starting 2012, 10 lbs heavier wondering how the heck this happened.

While I don't jump on the New Year's Resolution bang-wagon, a lot of people do. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Everyone needs a place to start. I personally can get out of bed on any given day after a mental pep-talk and change. Other's need Jan. 1st to flush out the old and bring in the new. While a lot of people who make new year's resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions.

So let's talk about what is on 85% of people's list: WEIGHT LOSS. Even if it's not #1 on your list, it's most likely ON your list. But sadly, instead of making it a lifestyle change, you revert to doing what you think is going to get you quick, satisfying results - YOU GO ON A DIET. Sorry to break it to you but unless you want to be part of the failing statistic, you're gonna need more than a fad diet to get you back in those jeans by 2012.

But let's say you've already started your fabulous new diet (say the HCG diet or some liquid-only magic potion) that has a laundry list of false promises. But you're feeling great. You've already lost three inches and five pounds. Since Monday?? Or even Sat? Yeah, right. Don't get too excited. It's mainly all that excess water weight you've been retaining.

Although you may think this diet is amazing, you are probably doing your body more harm than good. If your diet shows any of these six signs, it is dangerous and you should stop immediately.

1: It touts super-fast results - A normal weight woman should lose no more than 2 pounds of fat per week or risk shedding water and muscle, claims SELF magazines expert Stephanie Clarke.

2: It OD's on vitamins - Fortified diet plans can go overboard. Too much synthetic Vitamin A can damage the liver and could prevent Vitamin D from helping our body absorb calcium.

3: It has fewer than 1,200 calories - Too little calories can actually slow down your metabolism and raise your risk for nutrient deficiency. Eating 1,500 or more calories is ideal.

4: It claims to speed up your metabolism - If a low-cal plan says this, it probably contains a stimulant like caffeine or bitter orange. If you stop the diet, you'll have caffeine withdrawls.

5: It promises to clear out toxins - Some plans contain or recommend laxatives to detox. These expel healthful gut bacteria and upset your stomach. Dehydration could occur making you sluggish and impeding your kidneys, liver and skin.

6: It serves the same things daily - Even if you eat healthy food (ie - whole fruits and veggies), having only that food can create nutritional gaps. Plus, it's boring!

So let's start fresh. TODAY. It's ok it's Wednesday. Let's change your new year's resolution to be LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. With small baby steps and realistic goals, not these ca-razzzy overnight fads. There is no reason to get obsessed or frustrated. This will take time. My recommendation - STAY OFF THE SCALE. It will frustrate you to no end. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat so if you're not losing, it's not because you are failing. Statistics claim that daily scale users are more apt to fall off the healthy train because they get fed up that all their hard work isn't showing in the numbers. Again, it doesn't fall off overnight.

You've heard me say these before but I'll remind you again - Start taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Don't waste 20 minutes trying to find a closer parking stall - just park and walk your lazy butt a few more steps. Stop eating before you are overly full. Reach for fruit instead of chocolate. Stop drinking sugary juice and soda. Shop in the exterior aisles of your grocery store. Opt for condiments on the side. Practice portion control. Do exercises (push-ups, sit-ups) during commercials. Suggest a Saturday morning walk to spend QT with your loved ones. Take advantage of the free trial weeks at most any gyms and see if the "gym thing" is for you. Try to set aside time, even if it's just once a month, to do a Yoga, Zumba, Kickboxing class. Or whatever activity excites you. Obviously if you're wanting to lose weight, you need to change up the routine of what you're doing right now.

Alright, I'll get off my pedistal. As you can see I am very passionate about losing weight the right way - the healthy way. This is your life. You are the only one that can make yourself happy when you look in the mirror. I'll leave you with my favorite motivational quote that always kicks me into shape:

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."

If you're interested in reading my past blogs about weight loss, check out: Fight the Fad and Beat the Bulge.

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