It is not unusual for many people to gain 10 pounds or more after the holiday season. Eating rich foods is synonymous with the holidays, and lots of folks don't mind the consequences. I was at the Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco last Saturday night, and there was a 2.5 hour wait at 8:35 PM! We decided not to wait, which saved our group a couple thousand calories. I am guessing that most people do want to be healthy but make a conscious decision to eat to their pleasure during the holidays, and deal with the weight issue after the New Year.
The New Year is a fine time for renewal. It's like starting your life over with a clean slate. If you have the very worthwhile goal of losing weight to improve your life, here are five important tips to help you succeed:
1. Check in with your medical doctor first. If you have not had a recent blood test, it is a good time to get one done. Besides normal blood chemistry, your doctor should order a thyroid panel to see if your thyroid is functioning properly. The thyroid gland plays a role in your metabolic rate; i.e., the rate in which the body uses energy.
2. Avoid negative, defeatist thoughts. There is this general attitude that "diets don't work" and "you lose weight but it all comes back." Don't embrace these self-defeating beliefs. There are people who have lost weight and have been able to keep it off for decades. It can be done, it has been done, and people are still doing it! It's just that you probably have not met them.
3. Weight loss is difficult to accomplish if you don't systematize it. We are creatures of habit. Life is so busy it's hard to add yet another thing to our To Do list. An easy to follow routine will increase your success rate immensely.
4. Whatever your approach, it needs to work from the nutrition standpoint and the practicality standpoint. Limiting meals to lettuce and tofu for three straight months will make most people lose significant weight, but the compliance will be very low due to the unappetizing nature of these foods, and the approach will not work. It is impractical.
5. Find a support system to help you in your efforts. Ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable. Find a friend who you can lose weight together with, and support one another.
If you are successful in losing those x-amount of pounds, the rewards will be priceless. When one loses excess weight, it is not uncommon to have years of joint pain magically dissipate; higher energy levels, lower blood pressure, and clearer looking skin, among other health benefits. Healthy weight loss often enables people to discontinue their blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and insulin meds! Losing weight is indeed one of the best New Years resolutions there is.
My center offers the Take Shape for Life weight loss program, powered by Medifast and supported by Johns Hopkins University research, which includes free health coaching. And guess what? It happens to integrate all five of these tips. For more information, I can be reached at (925) 855-5525.
Happy Shrinking in 2013!