Like all Americans, I did my part. During that last quarter of the year, I did my best to eat too much food and not enough exercise to gain just enough weight to feel guilty. It started in October. Halloween (I love chocolate), then Thanksgiving and then Christmas,…
So now I am ready to play the weight loss game. I haven’t surveyed anyone but I am willing to bet a lot of money that the number one New Years Resolution is to lose weight.
So let’s just jump right into it. And in honor of David Letterman …
The Top Ten Guaranteed Weight Loss Actions… starting with number ten are…
Stop Making Excuses. This one might insult a few people. But it’s just a simple fact. When talking about weight loss I have heard everything. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons or excuses why someone is having a hard time losing weight. “I can’t lose weight because,… I have a medical condition, I don’t have time, I have a thyroid problem, it’s genetic, I don’t need to, I have a slow metabolism, no matter what I eat I put on weight,…” I hear them all day. An excuse by definition is a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or an offense. It comes from the Latin word “excusare” which means to free from blame; from the Latin word ex, which means out and causa, which means accusation or cause. Stop making excuses
Make it a game. You can’t take it too seriously or you will lose. If you make it fun you will win. Play our Biggest Loser Health Challenge. Make it a competition amongst friends. Talk smack to your competition and back it up. Make it a competition against yourself. Keep score. I grade myself on three things every day when I am in weight loss mode. Sleep, food intake and exercise. A great day was when I got three A’s meaning I slept well, ate well and got in at least one good workout for the day. Most of the time it was two B’s and an A. If you can keep at least a 3.0 GPA you will lose weight. The higher your GPA the faster the weight loss.
Shift your viewpoint. When I was having my first child I put on about thirty pounds. Pregnancy sometimes is worse for the guy. Then you sprinkle in the sudden loss of sleep once my son arrived and you know the rest. I was in terrible shape. At the time I had someone tell me, “Your body is a reflection of your daily habits.” And I thought what an awesome guy (not). But he was absolutely right. I looked terrible and I felt terrible. I did not want to even acknowledge or confront that truth. But, the reality was, until you do confront what is real, you will always make excuses and deny yourself everything that comes with having a fit and healthy body.
You have to shift your viewpoint. You have to be real with yourself. You have to see where you are and where you want to be. It is absolutely vital to have awareness of your current scene of your health and know where you want to go, otherwise, you will not go anywhere.
Consistency. I wrote in a previous blog on consistency a few weeks ago. If you get the chance, check it out. (Consistency Wins the Race) But to reiterate, consistency wins every time. Start now and do a little bit every day. Do the things you know you are supposed to do every day. Slowly increase the gradient on your diet and your exercise. You don’t go out and run a marathon on day one. That only guarantees failure. To be successful you gradually get into an exercise program. The same is true for your diet. Obviously, your diet needs to change but to go from what you normally would eat to a significantly lower calorie diet usually leads to failure as well. Again start on a gradient and gradually reduce your calorie intake over a few weeks
Weigh yourself obsessively.
Seriously. Get a scale and use it. If you’re not checking your weight at least five times a day you are not doing it right. And track it. Put it in your phone. Why? Your weight is not a static number. Like all other vital signs of your body, like blood pressure or pulse, your weight fluctuates throughout the day based on a lot of factors. In fact, your weight probably will vary by about five pounds over a 24 hour period of time. If you are continuously monitoring your weight you will see the natural trend of how your weight varies based on the time of day, your sleep, water intake, food intake, exercise frequency, type of exercise, the exercise duration,… This gives you more data on what actions are successful for you. The more data points you have the better decision you can make with regard to weight loss. You can use the data to help you make better decisions. Example. You step on the scale and it’s two pounds heavier than where you thought it would be, you might do that extra ten minutes on the treadmill or you might only have two strips of bacon instead of three. The scale does not lie, it motivates. Also, by you seeing this slight variation in daily weight and it becoming real to you how your weight fluctuates during the day you will not be discouraged when you see the number slightly increase. That is what I call the natural weight cycle. In fact, I would not focus so much on weight loss in terms of individual pounds but more in terms of five-pound blocks or intervals. For example, say you weigh 180 pounds and you want to get down to 155 pounds. Think of your weight loss in terms of five-pound intervals. So the 180 to 175-pound bracket is where you start. Your weight will fluctuate in this range for about two weeks. But as you eat less calories and burn more with exercise you will eventually drop to the 175 to 170-pound bracket. If you keep going you will hit your target. Track your stats. Understand why they change.
(To be continued,…)
Rich Wallace MD
Bayside Urgent Care is your alternative to the high costs and long waits at hospital emergency rooms. We believe that excellent healthcare should be affordable, and it’s our goal to never rush patients.
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