Is losing weight part of your New Year’s Resolution? Was it part of last year’s? Are you trying to turn around years of habit, or possibly an entire lifetime? I’m here to encourage you.
Anything you do will help. Walk 30 minutes a day. Walk 15 minutes if you can’t make 30. Of course I’d like you to do more, but if you are doing nothing now, start doing something. There are many reasons to join a gym, but you don’t have to. Joining a gym gives you motivation, accountability, access to more equipment and exercises, and community, but if you are reluctant, don’t let that stop you from exercising.
Don’t snack. I don’t mean don’t eat, I just mean don’t eat snack food. There are very, very few good snack foods. If you buy something for the sole purpose of a snack, you are in all likelyhood sabatoging your diet. Protein bars, granola bars, etc, are LOADED with sugar or artificial sweeteners. The supermarkets are filled with snack items, and most have too much sugar, salt and fat. If you are hungry, eat real food. Need it to be portable and convenient? Carrots, celery, hard boiled eggs, cheese ( in moderation), fruit, sandwiches, Triscuits, and hummus are all easy choices. A yogurt sunday, with plain lowfat yogurt, banana, walnuts and cranberries is 242 calories, and will keep you full for hours. I usually make two dishes for lunch, the yogurt sunday and a bean and rice dish. I eat one at 11:00, the other later, and I don’t get hungry, and everything I eat is benefiting my body. I will tell you if you like sardines, you are in luck, they are a great snack and one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Just don’t do it at the office, you won’t be popular.
You don’t go “on” or “off” a diet. You just eat better or worse. Persist in trying to eat better every day. Same with exercise. Try and throw something in every day, everywhere. Throw in an extra trip across the store, run up the stairs for no good reason, or shovel your neighbors walk.
Need motivation? Do you know how many extra pounds you are carrying? Carry them. Find something that weighs that much and try and carry it. Please do this with caution if you are more than 15 lbs overweight, and don’t try it if you are more than 25 lbs overweight, unless you are trained in weight lifting. Just pick up something heavy, and realize you are carrying more than that every day, pounding your knees, making your back ache and causing you distress. Think about how much easier life will be without that extra weight.