It’s amazing how fast the new year approaches, each year and each year a little faster as we age. With the coming of the New Year, at least 70 percent of Americans are thinking about their New Year's Resolutions, which undoubtedly means a lot of people are thinking about losing weight or getting in better shape. This is the typical mindset that the diet industry depends on for its yearly financial windfall!
Nothing about obesity has improved in the past 3 decades. America is still the fattest and sickest of all modern industrialized nations. And it’s getting worse. According to the CDC, obesity has increased by 13 percent since 2010, even with all of the awareness and education being provided - STOP!
Oops, my mistake! There is very little education in the mainstream medical community about the cause of obesity and how to reverse it! There are plenty of people talking about the epidemic of obesity and its related diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, but few are providing education that will make a long-term difference.
Please, don’t misunderstand; there are a number of great doctors who dedicate their time to educating the public. Most of them do not get support from the traditional medical community in their efforts. They put themselves at risk to teach you how to be healthy without the use of drugs! Thank you Dr. Hyman, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Greger and Dr. Katz - and many others - for your dedication to educating the public about living healthy lifestyles.
There are a gazillion diets and diet programs out there hoping to snare you for hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars. Some of these programs are very expensive. Sadly, most of them teach you little about keeping the weight off or how to prevent weight gain in the first place. They count on you becoming a repeat customer.
Preventing and reversing obesity takes knowledge, not a diet!
Around the beginning of March something happens. The wellness warrior becomes the wellness whiner. I notice that the gym has fewer people, my classes get thinner and clients and friends begin to avoid me because they don’t want me to know they are off of the new plan. I'm glad they at least feel a sense of accountability to someone!
This year, make one very important New Year's Resolution: I am sticking to the goals I have set.
Really, doesn’t this make sense? Why put all of this effort into your goals for two or three months and then give up?
I'm going to tell you how to keep your weight loss goal going, not just two or three months, but forever!
Most goals are never reached because the goal is not important enough, the goal is unrealistic and there was not enough planning.
The Best Way to Lose Weight - and Keep It Off!
1. Set your date to begin change.
Get rid of bad foods in your house. Buy healthy foods for meals and snacks.
2. Tell your friends and family what you are doing.
This sets up a level of accountability. Ask your friends to urge you or even join you in this new lifestyle.
3. Be realistic about your diet and weight loss goals.
Set goals for weight loss in 10 pound increments. The first goal is 10 pounds, the second is 10 pounds. This makes the goal achievable and builds confidence.
4. Learn to read food labels and the ingredient list on foods you buy.
Be very particular about what you put in your body. Healthy foods have very few ingredients. Avoid foods with added sugars, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and food colorings.
5. You must understand your energy requirements.
If you eat too many calories or under consume your calories, you will not lose weight. Try to eat 500 to 1000 calories less than you actually need. However, never eat less than 1200 calories per day. Eating less than 1200 calories per day on a consistent basis will lower your metabolic engine greatly, resulting in weight gain.
I highly recommend using an online food journal system. They help you monitor your calorie, sugar, carbohydrate, fat and protein intake every day. People that keep food journals keep the weight off. I recommend My Fitness Palor Nutrition Data, but there are lots you can use!
6. Understand that to lose weight, you must exercise.
If you have not exercised in a long time, start slowly and consult with your doctor. If you can only walk for 10 minutes, then walk for 10 minutes and work your way up to at least 1 hour. Break up the walking and exercising into 20 or 30-minute sessions and do them multiple times per day. This actually keeps your metabolism burning fat at a higher rate for more hours during the day, translating to faster weight loss.
7. Never deprive yourself of any food.
If you must have that brownie, eat just 1 and be happy. The next time you eat, it should be healthy. If you eat healthily 80 percent of the time, you can indulge or splurge 20 percent of the time, keeping you happy and helping you lose weight by not binging.
And never beat yourself up for having an unscheduled indulgence! Look at it as a treat, because you have done so well. The next time you eat, make healthy choices. Turn a cheat into a treat!
8. Eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts and seeds.
Make your plate at least 80 percent plant-based! Most plant foods are very low in calories and very high in nutrients. They also have a lot of fiber, which is satiating and filling. However, limit your fruits to 2 servings per day. They have a lot of sugar in the form of fructose that can interfere with your weight loss. Avoid refined and processed foods - they are full of unhealthy ingredients, low in nutrition and very high in calories.
9. Avoid grains or limit them to only whole grains, no more than 2 to 4 servings per day.
Grains cause cravings and can raise blood sugar levels. The best to have are wild rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa and oats. Check out Dr. David Perlmutter’s book Brain Grain.
10. Make sure you drink plenty of water.
Water is necessary to breakdown fat and create cellular energy. The general rule is to consume half your weight in fluid ounces of water per day. If you weigh 150 pounds, you would need 75 ounces of fluid per day. If you exercise, are ill, or sweat a lot, you may need more.
If you want to have great success and do not want weight loss to be on next year's resolution list, start planning now! Get excited about the new body you're going to have, the new health you're going to enjoy and the new clothes you get to buy!
Plan, execute, do it, lose it and keep it off by continuing to live a lifestyle of wellness and health!
Healthy wishes for a new year!