So it’s that time again when people are making new resolutions for the coming year. Maybe it’s to join a gym or be more active or eat healthier. Whatever your goals may be, make them realistic. Don’t expect to be fit/more buff/weigh less all at once. It takes time to reach the goals.
Break down your goals into more manageable parts. Instead of saying you need to lose 20-30-40 pounds this year, make it 2-3-4 pounds a month. Or even 1/2 or 1 pound a week.
Eating healthier can be daunting. Start with small steps. Add more vegetables or fruit. Eat healthier snacks – instead of grabbing for chips, get some carrots or celery sticks or low fat yogurt. Spend a little time on the weekends getting your snacks ready for the week so you can just grab and go. Start drinking more water. Try drinking a full glass of water before meals to help curb your appetite. Eat out less often.
Don’t join an expensive gym unless you plan to schedule it in your calendar and go. More people join a gym on the first of the year only to be gone by mid-February. Gyms are happy but your purse isn’t. And some gyms make it rather difficult to get a refund. There is one gym that only lets you cancel your three year contract if you move more than 25 miles away, die, or are permanently physically disabled. Period. So be aware of what you are signing. On the other hand, maybe you need the payment of a gym membership to motivate you to keep going.
Get some new workout gear. Make yourself look better while trying to get healthier. Forgive yourself if you have a setback. Think outside the box. Maybe you don’t want to work out first thing in the morning but can hop on your treadmill after dinner. Instead of sitting and watching TV, walk and watch TV.
Whatever your goals are, start planning some strategies to attain them now.
Have a healthy and prosperous New Year and New You!
The Victor crew found something interesting: A man in Australia set out to lose weight. So for an entire year, he ate nothing but potatoes. Some said he wouldn’t last the 12 months but since January 1, 2016 he has eaten nothing but potatoes. He has lost more than 50kg (about 110 pounds). He started out weighing 151.7 kg (about 334 pounds).
Andrew Taylor also says he was clinically depressed and eating potatoes has helped with that. He was able to go off of antidepressants and sleeps better. He said he had been addicted to food and eat a lot of the wrong things. He knew he couldn’t quit food altogether but looked for one food he thought he could eat for a year. He has a Facebook Page to chronicle his journey.
He eats 3-4 kg per day (6.6 – 8.8 pounds) and keeps himself from getting hungry. He eats them baked, boiled, mashed, and in potato pancakes. He’s planning to host a catered party on January 1. He plans to continue to eat potatoes since they were so good to him. His high cholesterol has dropped as well as his blood pressure and sugar levels.
Losing weight depends on several factors. How much you eat, how much you exercise, what your metabolic rate is. Counting calories is a guideline to help you figure out how much you are eating. Here is what the Victor crew found out.
Start out by figuring our what your BMR is. BMR means Basal Metabolic Rate. It’s the number of calories you would burn by doing nothing at all. The number is calculated by your present weight, height, and age. The calculations are different for men and women.
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
(If you don’t want to do the math – here’s a calculator that can do it for you!)
These measurements are a guideline as well. They don’t take into consideration muscle-to-fat ratio. Leaner bodies will need more calories because muscle burns more calories. If you are overweight, this count could be too high for you. If you use the calculator above, you will see there are other calculators available including BMI (Body Mass Index) and Waist to Hip Ratio as well as Body Fat Percentage calculator. All of this will give you an idea of how much you should lose.
Back in January, the style section of Yahoo.com ran a story about Amber Smith, an Aussie living in the UK. She was a 34-year-old content with her life and loved to travel. It wasn’t until she took a trip to Moscow in October 2012 that she finally realized it was time to lose weight. Normally she’d get a seat in the back of a plane so people wouldn’t see her getting a seatbelt extension. She’d use aisle seats so she could spill into the aisle to not bother people. She was a whopping 320 lbs. On this trip, she literally squished the people next to her and realized something had to give, either her love of food or love of travel. She decided she loved to travel too much.
She said she got there because of depression. She moved further from friends for a new job and started a spiral of emotional eating. She banned herself from travel until she could lose some weight. She used the Cambridge Weight Plan, a UK company that has meal replacements. It took a year but she lost 140 pounds!
With flying no more an issue, she has begun to travel again. She enjoys shopping in regular clothing stores again for travel clothes. She can hike on her trips. She is extra vigilant to eat healthy while on her trips. Here are her tips for eating healthy while on vacation:
Skip the bad stuff. Even airports can be difficult for trying to stick to a diet. She stays away from fried items. Try for the healthier choice (steamed white rice instead of fried rice.)
Shop wisely. Buy fruits and nuts for snacks.
Change your approach to eating. Think about the items you put in your mouth. Think about the energy you need and eat appropriately.
The Victor crew found an interesting article called The Science of Weight Loss. In the article, we find they talk about the difficulty of keeping lost weight off. Your problem may not just be lack of willpower or effort but rather biology. They explain why:
When you lose weight, the stored up energy and fat deposits decrease which causes the hormones, one of which is made up of fat cells, to send a signal to your brain that your stores have fallen to critical levels. Your brain then responds by sending signals to your body to put the weight back on.
A signal is sent to your muscles that they should become more efficient and burn fewer calories. This means you need fewer calories. The article explains that if you weighed 200 lbs. and lost 20 lbs., you would require about 300-400 fewer calories per day than a person who weighed 180 lbs. without dieting to maintain that weight.
Another change is areas of the brain that get a rewarding feeling from eating food is more active while the restraining areas of the brain are less active. This will increase appetite and lead to overeating.
This should not give you a defeatist attitude. You can fight back by eating foods that might help keep you feeling full like fiber, water, fruits and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, tomato, watermelon, apples, beans, and peas. Also foods like soups and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. You would have to exercise more. About an hour a day would be helpful to not only burn the calories but to keep the metabolism up. Good luck!