The #1 New Years resolution is to lose weight. With almost 7 out of 10 Americans battling the bulge, it's time to toss the fad diets and get serious. Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Sexy gave us the low-down on how to lose weight for good.
Elizabeth has a free presentation of Eat Your Way to Sexy January 31st at the Community Health Education Center, Bldg. D on the Salem Hospital campus from 6:30 - 8 p.m located at 890 Oak St. SE in Salem. The presentation is called the Women's Health Event with Elizabeth Somer. Register to attend by going online or by calling 503-814-2432.
The first of Elizabeth's Super Sexy, Fool-Proof Tricks for Permanent Weight Loss is: Be a Planner
There's a saying that "failing to plan is planning to fail." No where does that apply more than with permanent weight loss. Weight loss won't just happen. You need to plan your meals, your daily exercise, and how you will handle personal high-risk situations from stress, parties, and travel to eating in restaurants and boredom. Anticipate problems and go into battle well-armed with a plan. Also, have a plan for when you slip off your plans. Leave little to chance. In other words, pay attention. Watch your weight, self-monitor your eating and exercise habits, and have back-up plans for how you'll handle problem situations.
Keep a food journal. Another fool-proof, tried-and-true habit is that diet successes - Pay Attention! Monitor your progress. Everyone I know who lost weight for good has kept a food journal where they recorded what, how much, when, and where they eat, as well as hunger level and mood before and after the meal. This boosts self awareness, keeps you focused on your goals, provides invaluable feedback, and is a critical step in designing strategies. Be honest, specific, and complete in your record keeping. (Diet successes are consistently more accurate about portion size than are diet failures.) Record information at mealtime, since memory is highly inaccurate. Return to record-keeping at the first sign of weight gain.
Can you lose weight without exercising?
Yes, but you won't keep it off. Everyone who maintains a significant weight loss is exercising. While some studies recommend burning at least 1,500 calories a week exercising, the NWCR found that successful losers expend almost twice that, or about 2,800 calories, which is the equivalent of walking four miles or taking 10,000 steps every day. Granted, they probably didn't start out at that level of exercise, but gradually increased their activity during weight loss so that by the time they were seasoned maintainers they were very active.
What do diet successes eat?
People who are most successful at weight loss are eating according to the SE xY diet guidelines, which means lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and other authentic food. They also watch their intakes of calories and fat. They follow SE xY Diet guideline #3 (Give yourself some space) by dividing their food intakes evenly throughout the day. They create an individualized plan based on the same healthy foods they ate while dieting, they're just a little freer with their choices. They eat my 1,2,3 breakfast, a light and low-fat lunch and dinner, and include a snack or two in their routine, so they eat when they are comfortably hungry and in control of their appetite, rather than ravenous and ready to eat anything. They also become pros at what a serving looks like. A typical day would look like this:
Breakfast: Whole-grain waffle topped with peanut butter and blueberries, served with a glass of OJ.
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on whole grain and a tossed salad with glass of milk.
Dinner: Grilled salmon fillet w/ steamed broccoli, instant brown rice.
Snacks: Fruit, tub of yogurt, air-popped popcorn, water.
I know you give 100s of suggestions and tips and take us step-by-step through the weight-loss process in the book, but can you give us a few fun ways to make weight loss easy?
1. Take a hike, every hour. Set the watch alarm on the hour and take a five-minute brisk walk around the office. Over the course of an 8-hour shift, you'll accrue 40 minutes of exercise. Stop using the kids as go-getters and throw out the remote, too!
2. Brush your teeth after a meal. This helps signal the body that you're done eating and curbs the cravings for dessert.
3. Eat with chopsticks: It will force you to eat slower and not shovel.
4. Drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes before giving into a craving. You may find you were thirsty, not hungry.
5. Put a mirror in the dining room. People eat less when they can see themselves eating.
6. Eat a salad, have a bowl of broth-based soup, or drink a glass of V8 juice before a meal and you'll consume fewer calories.