MoHow Posted By Dr. MO 2014 has arrived and during the holidays you probably indulged in turkey, stuffing, pie and many other fattening goodies. Now, you step on the scale and much to your dismay, you’ve gained a few pounds in addition to the extra weight you may have already been carrying around. Do you want to make this the year that you slim down and keep the weight off for good?
Researchers say losing just 5 to 10 percent of your excess body weight can make a big difference in your health, including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk for diabetes.
So where do you start? In this post, and tomorrow, I will share what experts suggest as strategies that will lead to you being able to maintain long-term weight loss.
Know your risk factors. Before you begin a serious weight loss program set an appointment and check with your doctor to see if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Knowing where you are to start can also help you set realistic goals.
Keep a Journal. Writing down what you eat forces you to be aware of just how much you’re eating. Also, if you know you have to write down that piece of candy or pizza, you may not be so quick to eat it. Keeping a food journal may also cut down on automatic eating. Also keep track of how much you exercise in your journal.
Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in sugars. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, this will also reduce your risk of heart attack and certain types of cancer.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few big ones. Have a snack every two to three hours to ward off hunger. have snacks that include a high-quality protein and carbohydrates, such as low-fat yogurt and fruit, a smoothie, or soy cheese and a pear. Other suggestions for snacks include graham crackers, low-fat popcorn, vegetables with low-fat dip, and whole-grain crackers.
Count calories, then cut them. If you don’t already know, determine how many calories you eat in a typical day. Next, set your new reduced calorie goal, keeping in mind that experts recommend you lose no more than a pound or two a week. To lose about ½ pound per week, subtract 250 calories a day from your current calorie intake; to lose 1 pound, subtract 500. A reduction of 500-1,000 calories could result in weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week. Total calories, though, should not dip below 1,200 per day for women and 1,400 for men, which can put a person at risk for nutrient deficiencies.
Exercise regularly doing something you enjoy. In order to burn more than you take in, you need to exercise. This will increase your metabolism so even when you’re at rest, you’ll be burning more calories. For exercise to help with weight loss, experts advise regular aerobic physical activity (such as walking, biking or swimming) for at least 20-30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. If you’re a beginner, you can start slowly. Exercise 30-45 minutes, five days a week. In particular, walking may be a good choice. Buy a pedometer and keep track of the number of steps you take each day. Once you see how much you walk, try adding 1,000 steps each day, with an eventual goal of 10,000 steps or more.
Get and enlist support. Finding a support system is critical to long-term weight loss. Whether you join a group such as Weight Watchers or work with a dietitian, using the tools and services of our website, www.maintainmomentum.com also, to share your highs and lows with experts or others who can relate will be very helpful. These resources will be a source of new ideas and strategies and let you know that you’re not alone.
Tomorrow I will add more strategies and ideas to help you get slim and then maintain momentum so that you stay slim.