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January 10, 2011

How to Win the Weight War! Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you are struggling with your weight you’re not alone. I know your pain. Not only am I a weight loss counselor, I too have had my own struggle with weight. There is good news though. I lost fifty pounds about nine years ago and have kept it off. There is no magic cure or potion that keeps me at a healthy weight. I work at it everyday. Now, I am no perfect being and there are days when the carbs come a callin’ and I want to give in. Heck, there are even times when I do give in. But they are far and few in-between and the next day after my carbohydrate surrender, I wake up and get on with my normal routine. No beating myself up and no giving up the good fight. Here are a few helpful tips.

Don’t Centre Every Occasion Around Food

Now this does not mean you have Thanksgiving without the turkey or never make holiday cookies again. Having food on special occasions is not a problem but making occasions all about food is. Ditch the candy for Valentine’s Day and get your significant other tickets to a sporting event or a say spa pass. Enjoy some cross country skiing with the family before you settle in for the family cookie cook off.

Remember social events are about people, not putting on pounds. Instead of hanging out at the dessert table, on holidays I listen to your grandmother’s stories and really hear them. This past Christmas I played Nintendo WE with my nephews and mom had to call us twice for dinner. I love turkey and apple pie but experiencing those feel good emotions and appreciating the fleeting time that I had with loved ones was far better than any type of food.

Be Prepared When Dining Out

Life can get pretty busy so dining out unprepared might happen every once in a while. However, 95% of the time you should be prepared before you step foot in a restaurant. I have dined out once in the last two months and I checked the restaurant’s website before I did that. I chose the salad that I was going to have before I went and stuck with my plan when I got there.

Chain restaurants and some privately owned ones have nutritional information about their menu online. Check out the menu before you go and choose the items you will get. This is especially important for those that feel like there is nothing decent, health wise, at places like McDonald’s . There are plenty of items you can get, at McDonald’s that are low in calories and fat. Do not excuse yourself for having the Quarter Pounder meal because you think there is nothing healthy on the menu.

Be Prepared At Home Too

Cooking should not be a lost art if you plan on leading a healthy lifestyle. No matter where you dine out at or what you get, it is better to prepare meals at home. Preparing meals at home has gotten a bad reputation for two reasons. The number one excuse is lack of time followed closely by lack of skill. Well, the time issue is more about time management than cooking taking too long. Prepare a big helping of a meal and have it for the week.

Now, as for the skill part of cooking, patience is extremely important. The Internet is full of recipes with thorough instructions. However, if you are anything like me, you probably will mess a few of them up anyway. For example, I had a salmon burger recipe that I got from a cookbook. I went out shopping for the ingredients, which included breadcrumbs. I got crotons by mistake and forgot a few other ingredients but I went on with the recipe and made a salmon salad instead. The mess up turned out to be rather tasty so I stored the recipe on my computer for later.

Activity Must Happen!

No matter what your weight is or what your fitness goals are, if you are going to be healthy, it is important to exercise. Once again, time is not a good excuse and neither is lack of skill. You don’t have to have a workout regiment fit for an Olympian to stay in shape. About ten years ago when I decided to lose some weight, I began working out in ten minute intervals. I bought inexpensive workout videos that had ten or twelve minute sessions on them. I would write Pilates or Yoga in a time slot my schedule. In-between school or work, I would get my workouts in. Soon working out was just another task that I needed to complete.

Choose activities that you like. So many people dread activity because they don’t want to spend fort-five minutes on the Treadmill. Exercise does not have to be boring. Choose something that you like to do. My first workout regiment was yoga which is still one of my favorite activities to do. However, over time, I realized that there were plenty of interesting ways to get exercise in. Join a soccer team, take a yoga class or call friends for a pick up basketball game. Exercise is the fun part of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. health food | Feb 21, 2008 | Reply

    Hello!I got the most reliable information about Addiction to food and the health consequences involved is not an easy subject to talk about as so many people have preconceived ideas about the cause and what needs to be done to eliminate the problem.Thanks!

  2. AndreaR.D. | Feb 21, 2008 | Reply

    Making healthy choices when dining out can seem like an overwhelming venture! Thankfully, HEALTHY DINING’S new online resource makes it easy! Just log on to the free site HealthyDiningFinder.com to find HEALTHY DINING choices — and corresponding nutrition information — at over 50,000 restaurant locations, ranging from fast food to upscale dining. You can “search” for participating restaurants by specifying zip code or location information and desired price range. The site also offers free e-newsletters, recipes, nutrition tips and more.
    HEALTHY DINING’s expert staff of registered dietitians and master’s level health/nutrition professionals consult with each participating restaurant to find and/ modify menu items that meet the following nutrition criteria: Entrées (or full meals) must include at least one of the following: lean protein (skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood (including salmon), tofu, etc.), fruits and/or vegetables and/or 100% whole grains. Entrees must also be 750 calories or less, have 25 grams of fat or less, and contain no more than 8 grams of saturated fat. Bon appétit!
    Healthy Regards,
    Andrea Ogden, R.D.

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