Weight loss tips for the New Year

December 29, 2011

4fed9a6b6865afe0ade86a4debe0e26b_f169.jpgNew Year’s Resolution #1: Lose Weight

 If you’re like most Americans, losing weight is at the top of your New Year’s Resolution list. Rather than “going on a diet,” make a resolution to eat healthier and increase your physical activity. The benefits go far beyond weight loss and include lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

 First, it’s important to have realistic expectations. While various popular diets can jump-start weight loss, the only way to ensure permanent weight loss is to make a lifelong commitment to healthier food choices and increased activity.

 Eat more fruits and vegetables

Most of us can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables.  By making them a part of every meal and the first choice for snacks, you’ll feel satisfied and benefit from their high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Add Fiber the Easy Way

 Increase Physical Activity

A second component of any weight loss program is increased physical activity. Exercise burns calories, revs up metabolism, improves mood, enhances self-image, and relieves stress.  Research has shown that three 10-minute periods of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout, so start small and increase gradually.

 Do What You Enjoy

It’s important to find something that you enjoy.  Ask a friend to go on daily walks with you, or join a gym or health club - some health insurance policies will even pay for part of the membership fee.  

 The MAYO Clinic’s website has six strategies for success:

1. Make a commitment.

2. Find your inner motivation.

3. Set realistic goals.

4. Enjoy healthier foods.

5. Get active, stay active.

6. Change your perspective. 

For details, go to www.mayoclinic.com and click on Health Information. 

Remember, you're planning to change your life and it won't happen all at once. Stick to a healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it. 

As always, before starting a weight loss and exercise program, see your doctor.

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