Top Ten Tips For Weight Loss This Summer
Losing weight is among the most important things you can do for your health and quality of life. Even modest weight loss will improve your chances of avoiding sickness, diabetes, infection and high blood pressure. None of these are cosmetic issues.
The solutions to help you lose the pounds and keep them off are better than they have ever been before. Weight loss with medical supervision is a growing, and increasingly successful method of losing weight. You can succeed, and no goal is more worth it.
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Successful weight loss means establishing excellent habits.
Here are the Top 10 tools for weight loss success you can start today.
1. Set a short term goal today.
How many pounds do you want to lose in the next 1 month? Write it down.
Write an even shorter term goal of your plan to weigh yourself daily, exercise five hours this week, and avoid desserts this week. No one can accomplish a long-term objective all at once. It takes time and baby steps. Plan that first baby step in detail.
2. Park two extra rows away from the entrance to your work.
Two extra rows away might not seem like much, but think of adding 50 extra calories a day to your regimen from parking and walking; that’s 18,250 calories in the course of a year. That translates into over five pounds lost every year, just from this one change!
3. Serve yourself on a smaller plate.
We get used to big portions on big plates, but research suggests we feel just as satisfied with a small plate of food. Have you ever really enjoyed the ninth bite of apple pie quite as much as the first bite? If we use smaller plates, we feel just as satisfied, and, you guessed it, we end up consuming far less calories.
4. Walk up one flight.
If you are only going up one level, make yourself walk. Think of the advantages. For one thing, you don’t have to wait, and then stand in a crowded elevator with a bunch of strangers who don’t share your tastes in cologne. One flight can burn over 16 calories, and it probably will even speed up your arrival. Make it your habit.
5. Eat breakfast every morning.
It turns on our metabolism, and we burn more energy through the day. Skipping breakfast means eating later meals throughout the day and night, a pattern that leads to increased fat storage. The key is to avoid the harmful high calorie, high carbohydrate offerings such as donuts and fast food. It’s really the ideal meal of the day for a healthy protein bar. The best ones contain around 150 to 230 calories and 12 to 15 grams of protein with less than 10 grams of carbohydrates.
6. Brush your teeth an hour earlier.
Then keep them clean and have only ice water the rest of the night. Who doesn’t like to have fresh, minty clean teeth? Sometimes around 7:00 p.m. there comes a vague decision to have more food, dip into the ice cream, or pop some popcorn. We could really do without the calories, and we’re not that hungry then anyway. Most of us will just skip the late night snack if we already brushed.
7. Read every label.
We tend to change our own shopping behaviors without real outside pressure, once we become knowledgeable or mindful of the consequences of our behaviors. So can you become more mindful just by reading the label? You bet you can. Your goal is to reduce calories, but more importantly, reduce carbohydrate calories. And pay attention to the serving size on the label, too.
8. Make a rule opposite to what your mother told you: Always leave food on your plate.
Never finish all of anything, no matter how good it is. Unfortunately, in this one case, mother was wrong. Telling us to finish everything on our plate was a bad idea, in this modern, overweight world.
9. Find rewards for yourself other than food.
Try a massage, good books, movies, a visit with friends, clothes. Reward yourself with these treats. Just make them anything but food. Celebrate your successes.
10. If you watch TV, new rule: no sitting.
Studies have shown standing and pacing burns over twice the calories of sitting. Just imagine if you used that time to exercise, even if only mildly. The result would be a substantial caloric burn. A simple change from sitting to standing or pacing while watching TV can lead to significant weight loss.
This is your life. Your choices define you, your health and your quality of life. Don’t give up.
Today, weight loss solutions exist that can help you lose the pounds, improve your health, and live longer. Nothing is more important for your health.
Kent C. Sasse, M.D., MPH, FACS