- Diet & Weight Loss
Top 10 Reasons to Get Healthy This Year (with Weight Watchers or any other health plan)
Are you trying to lose weight this year?
1. Have you seen Jennifer Hudson- OMG
Jennifer Hudson is truly an inspiration. She was already an absolutely gorgeous woman before her weight loss, but now she is even more beautiful (who new it was possible!). It is impressive to see the before and after transformations of the weight watchers spokespersons, but even more to see that they are continuing on with their healthy lifestyle. Gaining weight is so easy (and kind of fun because you eat what you want!!), but losing weight is so dang hard (or so it seems). Using a weight loss plan whether is it Weight Watchers, Atkins, consulting a health specialist or some other method helps to facilitate a way of life. Rather than just assuming you know what is healthy and what is not, consult someone who figures these things out for a living- they are called professionals for a reason.
2. There's an app for that.
Well, actually there are 2! Weight Watchers (WW) has come up with a way to help you add points for various food items without having to use the calculator. There is an app for your phone that actually scans bar-codes on items in the grocery store and it gives you the number of points for that food! How easy/awesome is that? The other app is for tracking your points, searching for recipes and accessing items that are also available on the WW website.
There are MANY different app's available that do not have anything to do with weight watchers: CalorieKing, Jillian Michaels Slim Down, Men's/Women's Health Workouts, FoodScanner, and MyFitnessPal are just a few and some of them are even free. Having tools at your fingertips may help you to actually use them. Although books and sites are also helpful tools, using a phone application will give you the edge on kicking your diet's butt.
3. Online junkie? There's a method for you too.
WW of course has an amazing online tool that give you recipes, tips, success stories, guides, counters and much more, but are you aware of all of the other sites out there that provide free assistance in your weight loss journey?
Something that I came across lately is a fitness website lead by 2 women. They provide monthly workout schedules that you can do without joining a gym, healthy tips, accountability and a network of others trying to get in shape too. The site is www.toneitup.com- take a visit that you will not regret!
There are many other sites that provide insight into healthy living and keeping in shape. Here are a few for you to check out:
- Doctoroz.com - He is absolutely amazing. Watch his show!
- Any Fitness Magazine site: Women's Health, Men's Health, etc.
4. You are not stuck eating pre-fab meals that taste like cardboard.
Although, in my opinion, Smart Ones are not the worst thing i have ever tasted, I much prefer to cook my meals. I absolutely LOVE to cook, and as a Southern woman, I can cook up some mean gumbo, etouffee and jambalaya, but none of that helps to improve my waistline.
The best way to start cooking healthy foods is to make sure you know your subsitutes:
- Sub Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Butter
- Use spices instead of salt- too much sodium=harder weight loss
- Use garlic and onions to add flavor to foods
- Grill instead of bake- let the grease drip out to leave you with the good stuff, but still give you flavor
- Weigh out your portions- when you buy meats and seafood, ask your butcher to give you 4-6 ounce portions instead of whatever portion you normally order.
- Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store- all processed foods are in the middle.
- Use a smaller plate when you fix your food.
- Drink TONS of water.
Once you change your habits in the grocery store, transfer them to your kitchen. Take recipes that you love to see if you can substitute the fatty ingredients for lighter ones. If you cannot make a recipe healthy- save it for special occasions and only eat it once- send the leftovers home with your guests!
5. Skinny feels better than any food tastes.
Do you love skinny jeans or just YOUR jeans that make you feel skinny? These are the ones you keep in your closet even if they are too small because they are the best looking and best fitting jeans you have ever owned that you just cannot let go.
Now, please do not think that this is my way of saying everyone needs to be 100 pounds and only eat celery as a snack.
Skinny= Your Happy Weight
There is no perfect weight for each height, age or sex- Most guides that you read will give you a weight range, because each person is different. Just pick a weight that is manageable for you and try to stay within a reasonable range of that weight. I am not a scale watcher, but I still can gauge my weight gain/loss by how well (or too well) my clothing fits.
6. Have you seen Oprah wheel out the fat?
After seeing Oprah wheel out the fat, it really put into perspective a) why I need to lose a few pounds and b) to be proud of every pound that I drop! Think about when you workout in the progression of your weight loss. Of course it becomes easier as time moves on because your body is getting in better shape, but don't you think it also has something to do with the fact that you are not trying to lug around the extra weight you once had?
As a runner, I can tell you that this is definitely true. The heavier I am, the harder it is to run distances, and of course, the opposite also is true. Here are a few reasons to lose weight:
- Increased energy levels
- Possibility of getting off of certain medications
- Less tired
- More motivated
- Save money by not buying junk food! Go to you local fresh produce market and stock up!
- Increased sex drive
- Get noticed by others!
7. Working out is easier the less weight you have on you.
Top workout excuses and why they DO NOT hold up.
As mentioned earlier, it is much easier to work out when you do not have the extra pounds literally weighing you down. Here are a few workout excuses and ways to turn the excuse into action!
1. I don't want to pay for/go to a gym.
No worries! It is the perfect time of year to start enjoying some outdoor activities! Do you have a dog that needs walking, a bike that is gathering dust or some running shoes that need some road time? Hop to it! Mix up your workouts so that you do not get bored by doing 3 days of one activity and 2 of the other. As you begin to enjoy working out again, add hiking, swimming, zumba or dancing to the mix too.
2. I don't have time.
Do you have 15 minutes a day? What about 30? If you still say no, then here is something you can do each time you have five minutes.
Do a rotation of 10 push-ups, 50 crunches, and 20 burpees each time you have some free time. I guarantee that you will feel the burn! (Do them as many times in a row as your can handle and have time for.)
3. Once I am home- that is where I want to stay- but I HATE working out outside.
How about getting a new yoga, zumba or dance DVD? Do you have a Wii or other game console? There are so many options for exercise in those games. Play 30 minutes of tennis and let me know if you are not sweating- if you are not- I want your secret.
4. I need a motivator but cannot afford a trainer.
Buddy Up!!!! The best motivator is to have a friend that you meet on a regular basis for workouts. If you are meeting up in the morning and one day you wake up with the "Idon'twanna's" having a buddy waiting on you will give you a little nudge out of bed. Whenever I am training for a race, I always do my long runs early on a Saturday morning (because living in Louisiana, no matter what time of year it is, it is hot by 10 AM). I have at least one running buddy and I pick her up on the way to our running spot. It keeps her accountable because I am driving us and it keeps me accountable because I do not want to be the lazy bum that says "I don't want to get out of bed today".
*Also- try joining free, local workout groups like a running group
5. I hate working out.
Guess what- so do many of us. However, I find that once i get started, I forget all about why on earth I hate to work out. It is kind of like getting out of bed on a cold morning. It is never fun putting your feet on the cold floor, but once a hot shower warms you up, you are good to go. Same thing goes for working out- Once you warm up and your muscles/joints start to feel less creaky, you begin to actually enjoy the workout. And guess what else? The more you do it, the easier it gets.
8. You gain more confidence.
What makes you feel pretty/handsome/sexy? Is it when you are dressed up for a night out? When you are wearing a nice suit? Is it right after a good workout? Is it when your significant other or someone else tells you that you look nice?
Well consider this, no matter how great those moments feel, what about feeling that way EVERY time you look in the mirror because you know that you are working hard on creating a healthy lifestyle and image. That is how everyone should feel all of the time, but if you are only putting trash in and not taking care of your body, is it not possible that what others and you perceive yourself as may be pretty close to that? Take care of your health now and live a longer, happier and more fulfilling life.
9. Your health will improve.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? At a WW meeting that I went to recently, the leader showed us her before picture at 60 pounds heavier (she is a gorgeous skinny-minnie now) and said that she was on heart, diabetes and other medications before. Now, she takes NONE! How amazing is that to think that you may be able to get rid of some unnecessary medications and live a healthier not dependent on doctor visits and medications?
As mentioned before, you will feel increased energy levels, but you will also have less of a desire for the fatty foods that you once craved because you have replaced them with better foods. You may be shocked to find that your stomach "rejects" the fatty foods once you have kept them out of your system for a while.
10. Committing to being healthy and meeting the goal will help you to see other things through in your life.
When you begin your weight loss or getting healthy journey, have a goals (Yes, more than one!) in mind. What are you working towards? Is it a certain weight, is it a certain outfit you want to fit in? Whatever it is, create starting goals, midway points and final goals. This helps you to keep you commitment to the end game by actually begin able to achieve something along the way. Remember that 1 pound is a victory, 5 pounds is exciting, and every pound after that you should do a dance and pat your back.
Something valuable that WW recommends is reward yourself- but with NON-FOOD rewards. Do not say, oh I lost more than usual this week- that means i get some ice cream and cake!!! Instead say, I reached my "____" (insert goal here) goal, now I can go get a new top, or workout outfit, shoes, etc. These rewards will be around much longer than any junk you put back into your belly and will keep you motivated and committed to reaching your final goal.
Best of luck to us all in 2012!!