Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Staying on Plan and Taking Off Weight

Walking or any daily physical activity of at least 30 minutes is recommended for both good health and maintaining, as well as losing weight. Archive photo.

SO, you and you and you and you told just about everybody who has ears at the endless round of holiday parties that this would be the year. Those extra 10, 20, 30 or more pounds are coming off. Period. Full stop. Really.

Of course, most folk believe it and mean it when they make such declarations. They do well the first week or so of January – even into the third week. By the last week of the month, however, many fall off the wagon.

The No. 1 thing to remember is to not despair. Get back on the wagon. Don’t just lie there wallowing in self-pity, discouragement and too much sausage and pancakes.

This is essentially the advice of the University of Houston Texas Obesity Research Center in a weight-loss brochure. The center offers 10 tips to help any willing body stay on program.

No.7? Talk yourself into it or out of them pounds. In some other words, “Fake it til you make it.” Say to yourself, “Self you are 10 pounds lighter.” Keep saying it until pants confirm the results.

Get a friend(s) involved (No. 5). You share everything else, why not your fondness for the entire large bag of potato chips instead of 12 to 15. If s/he knows, s/he can run interference. Heck, s/he may even have a potato chip weakness. You can lean on each other; there is power in numbers!

In fact, you and friend can commiserate during that daily 30-minute power walk. Here are two smart people who know that losing weight is a combination of a proper diet and proper exercise (No. 3). Bear in mind that moving for at least 30 a day is strongly recommended.

Meditation can help reduce the stress that can potentially trigger nervous eating. Photo from the Social Leader.

It may prove helpful to pack a little snack for the walk in case hunger sets in. This to avoid making a beeline for the first fast food restaurant in sight. In fact, keep snacks at hand at all times; nibble on them every three hours (No. 4). Nuts (Almonds.Yum!) and low-calorie cheese can do the trick. Ditto for popcorn – traditional unpopped (not microwave, not from a vending machine, not pre-popped and bagged, not obscenely buttered).

Keep a log, too (No 2). Not a yule log, but a record of eats, drinks and physical activities. For instance, if the walk was only 10 minutes and the whole bottle of sparkling wine found its way down the throat, then it’s a good idea to have it documented so as to avoid such lapses going forward.

The log can also serve the purpose of keeping the hands engaged (No.6). More handy work can come in the form of thank-you notes, which can distract the mind and hands away from eating. You know the saying, “Idle hands and minds are the devil food cake’s workshop.”

Should go without saying, but it won’t: “Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.” (No.8). Pecan pie is your particular peccadillo? What to do when faced with the one on the sideboard in the dining room? If you do not plan for such a contingency and do not believe you can have one slice and be satisfied, walk away. Leave the dining room if necessary.

Indeed, a timeout is in order after quitting the dining room. Relax (No. 9). A relaxed mind will not eat the whole tub of ice cream. During dessert, take yourself away for some quiet time. Pray. Meditate. Reflect. Just take your mind off of that pie!

Eating one slice of pecan pie beats eating the whole thing every time. Photo from tumblr.

Finally, make sure the weight-loss goal is actually attainable (No. 10). Sure, fake it til you make it. But at the same time it stands to reason that there is no dropping those 25 pounds in one week no matter how many times you say with utter conviction, “I will lose 25 pounds in one week.”

In some other words, be realistic.

Visit to learn more about the University of Houston Texas Obesity Research Center weight loss brochure.

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