New Year’s Resolution? First off, Happy New Year!!!
Now how about those New Year’s resolutions? I know, I know many of us have the same one every year: lose weight and get in better shape. And every year it seems as if we drop the ball. This year let’s try a different approach and see if we can lose some of those unwanted pounds. You’re not alone! Shocking: only 1% keep their New Year’s Resolutions for the entire year and 93% blow it by January 12th! Dieting does not work! Fad diets typically are impossible, so we quickly return to our usual bad eating habits and add back those lost pounds. So this year let’s try making a few subtle changes instead of extreme ones.
- Eat less. That’s it just eat less, no changes in dietary choices just less. Since 1970 American’s caloric intake has increased 23%, from 2168 calories/day in 1970, to 2673 calories/day in 2008. CDC National Center for Health Statistics, 2010 Example: instead of eating 4 pieces of pizza eat 3, that equates to 25% less calories!
- Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast every morning are half as likely to be overweight or show signs of diabetes. Children’s Hospital, Boston, 2003. Skipping breakfast can decrease your metabolic rate by 5%, adding up to 10 lbs to your body in a year. Medical College of Cornell University, 2005.
- Eat more often. Usually we skip breakfast, eat a super fast lunch and a huge dinner right before bed. All will add to your weight. The ideal diet is 4-6 small meals. Not eating for long periods can actually lower your metabolic rate 10-20% preventing the use of 250-300 calories a day! Dr. Sears, The Zone
- Less soda. One soda a day can add 15 lbs to your weight in a year. CDC, 2006
- Of course eat better foods as well: lean protein, fruits and vegetables. Exercise, you thought I forgot!
- This year think baby steps. So many people dive into an extreme exercise program that they just will not continue for a long period of time. It is too demanding so we stop all together. As with diet we have to make changes we can stick with. Start slow!
- Time. We are all so busy that we always feel there is no time, so exercise is left out. Did you know that there are 1440 minutes in a day? That’s right and a beginning exercise program should be maybe 60 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week. So what will you do with the other 1380 minutes a day?
- Strengthen your muscles. Most people when they try to lose weight only diet. If they exercise they often focus on aerobic exercise and do not strengthen muscles. Big mistake! Strengthening your muscles requires fuel to help the muscle build. This process of muscle building will actually help you burn fat, even while you sleep. Just a few minutes a day, push-ups, sit-ups etc will do the job.