Okay, enough with the New Year’s resolutions that go absolutely nowhere. Make 2015 the year things change for you, by understanding that the answers to better health are actually quite simple.
No Secrets – It’s Common Sense
There is no magic pill or magic wand out there to help you lose weight. In order to lose weight, you have to consume less calories than you burn, which means eat less and exercise more.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation,” as Oscar Wilde once said, are words to live by, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.
The skinny on a proper diet can be found at choosemyplate.gov and by talking with your doctor, among a myriad of other sources. Essentially, you want to eat a variety of foods from the main food groups that are high in nutrients. Additionally, be sure to keep unhealthy things like saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol to a minimum. You should also stay away from the “diet” mentality. Don’t think of it as having to be on a “diet.” The changes you are making are for a healthy lifestyle for life.
Define your long term goals and then start by making small changes. Success will come if you start small. Aim to make one tweak a day: add a new fruit to breakfast; skip your pre-dinner cocktail; or use a smaller plate at a buffet.
Some people have to ask themselves if they are using food as a coping mechanism to deal with stress in their lives. If the answer is ‘yes,’ you should talk with your doctor or possibly see a counselor to help you better deal with the underlying problem.
The winter months tend to keep us indoors more, so it does take some extra effort to exercise. Consider walking at the local mall and exercising in your home with a treadmill or to a workout video that suits your level of activity.
Standard guidelines suggest adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. 60 minutes of moderate to higher intensity activity on most days of the week, while not exceeding caloric intake requirements will provide greater health benefits and better weight management for most people. You should consult your doctor before you begin any new exercise routine to ensure it’s safe for you.
When All Else Fails…
Sometimes obesity cannot be treated by diet and exercise alone. For people who are severely obese and can’t lose weight by traditional methods or who suffer from serious obesity-related health problems, weight loss surgery may be a viable option. Visit ellismedicine.org for more information about our comprehensive, nationally recognized weight loss surgery program.
What Are You Waiting For?
So are you ready to make 2015 the year you get healthier? Before you answer, consider what good health is worth to you? Better yet, ponder what is more valuable than your health.
For more information about nutrition services, including programs available at the Ellis Medicine’s Medical Center of Clifton Park, visit ellismedicine.org or call 518.243.4345.
- Get motivated. Keep yourself motivated during your weight loss journey by doing the “write thing.” Writing down your weight loss goals reinforces them in your mind.
- Want it. Another "stick with it strategy" is to use the word "want" instead of "should." Saying you "should" do something, like exercise, implies that you feel the activity is a burden. Tell yourself you want to work out or you want to eat less is the better approach.
- Shop the Perimeter. When grocery shopping stick to the outside walls of the store to get the freshest, healthiest foods. The packaged, less healthy food choices tend to be kept in the aisles in between.
- Wear a Pedometer. A pedometer can actually prompt you to be more active. Aim for 2,000 steps per day, and work up to 10,000. Consult your physician before beginning any new physical activity.
- Protein first! Gram for gram, protein has the same number of calories as carbohydrates and half the fat, but takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. Include a serving of lean protein with each meal and snack.
- Stop Smoking. The adverse health effects for smokers are staggering. Sign up for a smoking cessation class (ellismedicine.org) or call the NYS Quitline at 1.866.NY.QUITS (1.866.697.8487).