Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Raise your hand if you want to lose weight!

on May 11, 2011
There is an ad running on the radio for a weight loss product that has a fast talking announcer giving this disclaimer” if you lose more than 10 pounds in one week, please adjust your dosage.”

With this disclaimer, what they are implying is you can lose 10 pounds a week with this magic pill.  I say Bullcrap to that!  There is no magic pill and it is certainly not safe to lose 10 pounds in a week.  You should never eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day or your body will go in to starvation mode which slows your metabolism.  Starving or fasting will actually cause you to gain weight in the long run. In order to lose 1 pound a week, you need to eliminate 500 calories a day.  I suggest cutting 250 calories from food and drinks and burning 250 calories through exercise. 

Here are my basic strategies to lose weight:

1- You absolutely MUST quit drinking sweetened beverages.  This includes soda, sweet tea, coffee with flavorings or sugar, sweetened or flavored milk, and any water that has calories.  I have a co-worker who lost 25 pounds and the only change he made was to quit drinking soda.  I won’t get into alcohol here, but if you are really serious, quit drinking it- you will most definitely lose weight.  What can you drink?  Water is your best option, if that gets boring, add a squirt of real lemon juice.  Black coffee, tea, skim milk or sugar free drinks will hydrate without adding calories. 

2-Physical Activity is another must-do!  A brisk 30 minute walk each day will burn calories and rev up your metabolism.  Find an activity you like such as biking, running, jump roping, dancing, etc. Anything that gets your heart rate up that you enjoy doing will help you lose weight if you stick to it.

3- Eat fewer calories than you burn.  Ths seems obvious, but there are hundreds of diets out there: low carb, low fat, blood type, sugar free, high protein, blah, blah,blah.  The basic truth is everything in moderation.  You don’t have to deprive yourself or get rid of a food group, just eat fewer calories and move more.  You can also eat huge amounts of the right types of food.  How’s this for a big breakfast? Scramble 6 eggs whites (about 16 calories each). Mix in some veggies and add a 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese and you have a fantastic (and BIG) breakfast for about 225 calories. Add a piece of fruit to round it out with carbs if you wish (adds about 100-150 calories depending on fruit). If you like, use 2 whole eggs instead of 6 egg whites.  Healthy, low calorie and filling!

4-You don’t have to count calories forever, but it is a great way to kick start your weight loss plan and make you aware of how quickly calories can add up. When I first started,   I was shocked to find that most days I had used up my calories for the day at lunchtime!  I use www.livestrong.com/ thedailyplate to track calories and activity.  I know others who are very pleased with www.sparkpeople.com.  You have to be honest and count everything- journaling your calories is an excellent tool to keep you on track and to help you meet your goals.

NO excuses- get started today!  Taking weight off slowly will help keep it off permanently.  You won’t only look great, you’ll feel great, too.

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