Q. I’ve enjoyed the holidays, and now I’m faced with my New Year’s resolution — to lose weight. Do you have any advice on how I can keep my resolution?
A. The goal you’ve chosen for your resolution is one shared by many. As you set your sights on your goal, remember that true weight loss happens gradually and involves lifestyle changes.
The good news is changes you incorporate into your life can ultimately make you healthier, give you more energy, and make you feel and look better. Diet pills, herbs such as ephedra, and starving yourself won’t give you the long-lasting results you’re looking for. Here are my suggestions on how you can reach your goal:
- Be clear that you really want to lose weight and that this is a long-term goal. Many people make their resolution one day and then sabotage it the next.
- Make a pact with a friend or family member who wants to lose weight too, or who supports your decision.
- Create a plan of action and set realistic goals. The plan I recommend is based on dietary changes and regular exercise. If you eat less and expend more calories with exercise, you will slowly change your body size. The key word is slowly; you can only lose 1› pounds of fat a week. Quick weight-loss diets that promise you’ll shed several pounds a week are often just quick water-loss diets that basically dehydrate you.
- Choose a diet you can follow for life — one that provides excellent nutrition and adequate calories, satisfies you and tastes great. These qualities are found in low-fat whole foods including fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, fish and free-range or organic animal protein such as skinless poultry and eggs, and whole grains like brown rice.
- Eat your biggest meal at lunch rather than dinner, and eat three meals a day so that you have adequate calories throughout the day. Don’t let yourself become excessively hungry; this can cause sugar cravings.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day. Include aerobic workouts and some weightlifting in your routine.
- Give yourself a reward, such as a vacation, once you’ve attained your goal.
- Know that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Article was originally printed in the Honolulu Advertiser, honoluluadvertiser.com