If you are determined to lose weight, do it in a healthy way!!

Reasons for losing weight that make sense;

  • Arthritis—carrying extra body weight does put pressure on your joints.
  • Preparation for orthopedic surgery—many surgeons refuse to do surgery until a person loses a certain amount of weight
    • The research is mixed on whether or not outcomes are better after weight loss
    • Any diet that promises fast weight loss puts you at risk for malnutrition as you enter surgery—being well nourished before surgery will definitely improve outcomes. It is very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet while you lose weight!!
  • Pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes—if BMI is over 25, you can lower your blood glucose with just a little weight loss (5-10% of body weight)
    • BUT learning healthy lifestyle habits is MOST important for preventing or managing diabetes!

Important things to remember:

  • Quick weight loss almost ALWAYS leads to weight regain within 1 to 5 years

    • Most people gain more weight than they lost in the first place
      • I have had many clients who had lost 100 lbs or more but regained all of that and more by the time they came to see me.
  • Patience is a virtue! Making small lifestyle changes over time leads to the biggest life-long changes

    • Lifestyle changes include:
      • Sleep; yep, getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night helps prevent weight gain!
        • If you have problems sleeping, talk with your doctor, maybe you need to see a sleep specialist.
        • Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s website for tips on improving sleep:
      • Stress management;  being constantly stressed increases those hormones that increase your appetite, raise your blood glucose, and make you store more fat and lose muscle.
        • Managing your stress will also help you sleep better!
        • You can find lots of books and articles on stress management on the internet.
          • Try joining a yoga class or a meditation group.
            • I know you are busy and these things take time, but your “stressors” are not going away; dealing with them might just make you more efficient at what you have to do!
          • Spend some time outside every day—It can be anywhere; getting out into nature occasionally is a great stress reducer!
      • Physical activity—more on that below, BUT, being active is helpful in losing weight and absolutely essential in keeping it off!
        • Physical activity will also help with both sleep and stress management as well as heart health and a myriad of other issues!
      • Eating—You thought eating would be first on the list! Well, weight is complicated; what you eat is very important, BUT, losing weight is far more than just changing your diet!
        • More on healthy eating changes below.

Healthy ways to start being active.

I have yet to have a client be successful with weight loss if they do not increase their physical activity. BEING SAFE is essential!

  • If you have back, neck or joint pain, ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist to learn how to safely move your bod

    • I know from personal experience that this is VERY HELPFUL!!
  • If you have problems with your heart or lungs or have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor about how to safely increase your physical activity

  • Start SMALL! As little as ONE minute of activity one or more times/day
    • Find something you can easily do at home or work
      • Walk, exercise bike, elliptical trainer, dance,
    • Increase by one minute per day every week.
    • Check out fun online exercise activities online; google “you tube instant recess” to find some 5-10 minute exercise routines.
  • Ultimate goal is 1 hour of some kind of physical activity every day, it can be divided into several 5-10 minute bouts or done all at once.

    • Make sure you are doing things that you enjoy—
      • If you have joint or foot problems, you might want to try swimming or water exercise classes or a pilates class for a couple days of your activity. Even just walking in a swimming pool is a great way to move your body!
  • Once you are feeling good about movement in general, you might try a few minutes of “High Intensity Interval Training” or HIIT.

    • If you have ANY KIND OF HEART PROBLEM, talk to your doctor before trying HIIT!!!
    • Start by warming up for two to five minutes with gentle to moderate activity.
    • Then alternate 30 to 60 seconds of very fast/intense movement with 1-2 minutes of moderate or slow movement.
      • You can vary the times as you get used to doing this.
      • Alternating between fast or intense activity and slow activity for 10-30 minutes has been shown to get your heart rate up and to burn more calories that twice as much time at a moderate pace.
        • Exercise classes often use this approach to help students get a very good workout.

HOW and WHAT we eat makes a big difference in our weight

  • HOW we eat is  very important!

    • We tend to understand our hunger and fullness cues best if we eat without doing ANYTHING else, regardless of what we eat!

      • Aim to sit down and enjoy our food, whether it is a spinach salad or a Snickers Bar!
      • Turn off the TV, computer or phone; put your work aside and just eat.
        • This is easier said than done. Start with one meal per day and try to get to all meals and snacks over a few months.
      • Aim for 3 meals and up to 3 snacks per day. Your goal is to eat without doing anything else for all meals and snacks.
        • If you have always been a grazer, or if you tend to skip meals and get overly hungry, 3 meals and 3 snacks might be best for you.
        • For some, eating 3 larger meals and no snacks is the best option.
        • DO NOT SKIP MEALS!!! Skipping meals is a recipe for overeating later.
          • I also do not recommend “intermittant fasting”, even thought there is some research that says it might work. The big risk is binge eating after skipping meals!!!
      • Consider working with a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist to learn how to eat mindfully and to recognize hunger and fullness cues.
      • Try increasing your the size of your breakfast and decreasing the size of your dinner. Some research has shown that making breakfast the biggest meal of the day and dinner the smallest helps with weight management.
  • WHAT we eat and drink does make a difference!

    • Three things you can do:

      • Cut out sugared drinks—sodas, fruit drinks, AND 100% fruit juice (it is just “fruit sugar water”, NOT the same as eating
      • Limit alcohol to no more than a couple drinks/week
        • Alcohol is a huge source of empty  You cannot drink every day if you want to lose weight and keep it off!
          • One 5-ounce glass of dry wine = 110 calories
          • One 1 1/2-ounce shot of hard alcohol (whiskey, vodka, rum…) = 105 calories
            • Mix that with 8 ounces of a juice or soda and ONE drink is over 200 calories!
      • Eat whole, natural foods in place of processed foods—
        • Eat mostly fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas and lentils, plain yogurt (add fresh fruit or even a little sugar or honey to give it flavor), unflavored milk, natural cheeses, unprocessed meats, poultry and fish
        • Limit or avoid baked foods made with white flour, white rice or pasta, candies, and pastries, and meats like salami, hot dogs, bologna, sausage and bacon.
      • There is lots of recent research showing that eating processed foods instead of whole foods results in overeating and weight gain.
    • There are all sorts of diets out there. If you follow any of them for several weeks you will likely lose some weight. BUT, diet implies “temporary”. If you want to lose weight AND keep it off for the long run, you need to make permanent changes.

      • As soon as you “go off” any “diet”, you will begin to regain the weight you have lost.

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