Well, here we are in 2009. Hopefully all of us had a wonderful holiday season. We ate, drank and socialized with family and friends from near and far. Now what? New Year Resolutions? Uh oh, yeah, it is indeed that time. Most Americans tend to make the old tried and tested resolutions but number one on the list is to lose weight! Ha, I wonder why? Could it be the constant eating or the time off of work that caused us to all be lazy? The pumpkin pies and fat turkeys and hams? Whatever it is, it’s a known fact that millions of Americans struggle with how to shed those extra pounds that we all packed on.
I personally signed up for Weight Watchers. Is it working? Nope. Why? Because I am not even close to being as disciplined as I should be. That brings me to the point that whether is the beginning of a new year, the end of the summer or someone’s birthday, none of us will shed a pound until we are good and ready to lose the weight for ourselves. Of course there are those who have received warnings from their doctors about weight loss but that is something different. I think most anyone would take heed to something that was threatening our lives.
Just in case there are a few of you out there who are ready but not quite sure which route to take I have put together a few do’s, don’t for you.
Stay Hydrated. The most important role of dieting is to be sure you take in plenty of water. Often times when you feel what you think is a hunger cramp, it is merely your body’s way of telling you to give it some water. Try drinking a glass before you head straight for a snack and see if it helps.
Exercise! Okay, I know you are tired and the last thing you want to do before or after work is break a sweat. Remember exercise doesn’t mean you have to head for the gym or hit the weights. It can be as simple as taking the dog for a brisk walk or playing ball with the kids in the back yard. I know it sounds silly but the best form of exercise I get is when me and my kids have a dance contest! It’s loads of fun and I don’t even think of it as exercise.
Get support. Competition is not always a bad thing in the dieting game. No one wants to be the underdog so if you have someone to do these things with and measure your success against it gives you a little more motivation.
Do NOT starve yourself. Starving yourself only causes you to gain weight! Your body goes into panic mode when it doesn’t get enough food and it stores more fat than it does when you are eating regularly. Don’t eat less, eat differently. Exchange a cookie for an apple or potato chips for baked crackers. Add colorful foods and snacks to your food. The more veggies you add, the less hungry you will be… not to mention much more heart healthy.
Don’t give up! Usually the first two to three weeks are great. You see a difference in the way your clothes fit and the way you feel. The numbers on the scales drop and make you feel great. Then week four rolls around and nothing happens… OUCH. You want to head for the cookies and cream. Don’t do it. Your body naturally reaches a point where the changes in your diet are no longer effecting your weight loss. That is a time when you have to add a step. Walk TWO blocks instead of one. Add a glass of water to a meal instead of diet coke. There are many things you can do but giving up is only going to throw away the effort you have put into it to begin with.
Don’t fight a craving! If you are dying for a piece of chocolate, have one. Not only are there a thousand types of diet chocolate and diet candies but having one piece of candy isn’t going to ruin your diet. Actually, trying to fight that craving can ruin it. It can cause you to binge and that is not something you want to do!
All in all, dieting is hard. If you make the decision to take the plunge, do it right. Fast diet miracles don’t work. Hard work, healthy foods and exercise do. Good luck to all.