Bea’s Wellness Project – Day 4 – 1/12/2015
The reality of losing weight and keeping it off requires a long-term (okay, a lifetime) commitment.
Bea’s motivation for making this commitment came from watching her mom suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes; then watching her sisters develop these conditions as they aged. These age-related diseases develop from unhealthy eating as well as carrying around too much extra weight.
What’s your motivation? Do you want to lower your blood pressure or your cholesterol levels? Do you simply want to boost your energy levels or enhance your self-confidence? Are you looking to get a killer body to show your ex- just what he’s missing?
Whatever your motivation, reaching a healthy weight simply makes life more enjoyable, and adds to quality longevity. And once you make that commitment, there are common sense strategies that can help you reach your weight loss goal.
- The first step is to set your weight loss goal. A realistic goal is the key. I’m sure you’ve seen all those pictures in the gossip magazines of celebrities whose bones stick out and whose faces look drawn because they’re simply too skinny. They’re not doing their overall health any favors, either. According to the experts, it’s a good idea to base your weight goal based on your body mass index. Bea’s done a Google search: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has a BMI calculator you can use. This site also provides some great healthy weight tools.
- Pick a date to get started and annotate that date on your calendar. Not picking a date may cause you to continue to put off your weight management plan. Then do some advance planning: fill your fridge and cupboards with healthy food options, buy some exercise DVDs, sign up for an exercise class, go online to find a support system.
- Don’t starve yourself: Eating too few calories is counterproductive, because it causes our metabolism to slow down. There are other health risks of eating too few calories, as described here. The best way to decide how many calories to eat during the day is to consider how active you are in your daily life. The Free Dieting website offers a Calorie Calculator – Daily Calorie Needs.
- Keep a food journal. We often eat mindlessly, causing us to underestimate what we eat on a daily basis. For at least a week, write down not only what you eat, but also portion sizes. This will help you track the times when you overeat. Being aware of this can help you plan to substitute healthier options at these times. (Don’t forget to count beverages)
- Eating breakfast is crucial. But not just any breakfast. An all carbohydrate morning meal will cause your energy to lag early in the day, and won’t keep you filled up for long. Instead, include a protein, whole grains, and fruit. For example, try an egg scrambled in canola oil or a whole-wheat bread thin with berries on the side.
- Fill your lunch and dinner plate with vegetables and fruits. They add anti-oxidants, nutrients and fiber to your meals. You can eat bigger portions of them, since they have fewer calories and fat than meats and processed foods.
- Speaking of fiber, boost your intake in order to lose weight. Fiber helps block the absorption of calories. Try oatmeal or other high fiber cereal with breakfast, beans for lunch, and whole grains throughout your day. Skip the “white” foods such as white flour, white bread, white rice (all the high glycemic stuff that causes spikes in our blood sugar).
- Avoid processed foods and cut back on fat intake. Processed foods have too much salt, too much sugar and too many trans-fats. To cut back on fat, choose leaner cuts of meat, low-fat cheese and yogurt, and bake food instead of frying it.
- Drink up. Cold water, that is. Believe it or not, researchers have found that simply drinking two 8 ounce glasses of cold water can enhance your metabolism by 30%.
- Don’t forget to sweat. Some health experts argue that cutting calories is more important for weight loss than exercising. Bea would argue that even if it’s easier to eat 100 less calories a day than to burn off those 100 calories, exercise definitely has its place in the weight management game. Exercise helps you burn fat, strengthens those muscles and bones, reduces stress, lower cholesterol, and builds self-confidence.
For additional reading:
Psychology Today talks about Cognitive Therapy for weight loss, and Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Therapy in this article
Different strategies are necessary for losing weight and maintaining weight loss
Don’t go it alone: WebMD talks about the Secret Formula of Weight Loss
Combine diet and exercise for the best weight loss
Behavior Modification Ideas for Weight Management
Visit Bea on Wednesday, January 14th, to find out how often you should weigh yourself and the best day of the week to do so.