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It's not about how to lose weight but rather how to commit to a healthy lifestye.

Updated on February 8, 2010

Simply put a healthy weight requires an attitude towards a healthy lifestyle. Motivation and energy is key for the discipline required to regularly eat less and exercise more. I don't consider this dieting as I don't necessarily deny myself anything but rather maintain the "everything in moderation rule" when it comes to eating. I try to reduce the intake of processed food and increase foods that provide some nutritional benefit. I recognize that there are exceptions to every rule and that some people struggle with health issues resulting in weight gain. As I do not claim to be a health professional I am not addressing those concerns here.

Most of us already know how to lose weight. Mostly it comes down to - everything in moderation and get moving (a little motivation is also very helpful). The difficulty is maintaining the weight loss and committing to a healthy lifestyle. It does take a little discipline for a lifestyle change. This means recognizing and breaking unhealthy eating habits. It also means finding the time and energy for regular exercise. Give yourself a break. Don't set yourself up to fail with unrealistic immediate expectations. Go for small, achievable changes in your life for long term rewarding results.

Energy, energy, energy.

For the energy needed each day, start with a positive attitude and breakfast. Add water and, if you can, a little sunshine. I’m serious –

  1. Be positive. If you are a person who likes quotes as I do, maybe start your day reading a favorite quote posted on the fridge. Or take a moment to write a short inspirational note to yourself. Each day is a chance at a fresh start; don’t beat yourself up over yesterday. Today is the present, a gift to enjoy.
  2. Never skip breakfast. It kick starts your metabolism (like starting the car up in the morning), keeps your body from going into starvation mode and storing fat, and provides healthy nutrients for energy. Why wouldn’t you have breakfast every morning?
  3. Drink water. It keeps you hydrated which is necessary for that much needed energy. It also makes you feel full allowing you time to think before you eat.  Drinking too much water with meals can cause some people to have acid reflux.  Allow 30 min. before or after meals.
  4. Get some rays. If you can, get just ten minutes of sunshine daily, even simply sitting by a window during a break in the day. Of course, a walk would be better as it would include exercise. Not only does a little sunshine just make you feel good but the vitamin D soaked up will also give you energy.

A Set Goal

If you have already set a goal weight to reach and have your mind set to getting there within a certain amount of time than I say go for it and go hard. Walk, run, play, exercise - just move.  Get off that couch or move away from the computer and start moving and don’t stop. You will feel extraordinary; body, mind and soul. Doesn’t everybody say that if you work hard, you can achieve anything? The emphasis here is “work hard”. The great thing is that once you have achieved this goal you will have renewed energy and a well deserved high for life.

Start Small

Not everyone, however, is able to set such high standards because frankly, some of us just don’t have it in us. But, starting small is better than not starting at all. So I repeat myself, get off the couch and step away from the computer for even just short periods of time. Get moving. There is no magic exercise, the trick is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you will want to continue doing it regularly. Change it up now and then, play music or wear a nice exercise outfit. Slowly incorporate exercise into each day. It could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or eat lunch at your desk then go for a walk on your lunch break. And again, drink water to stay hydrated and give you that full feeling allowing you time to think before you nibble.

I recognized early on that once I reached a certain age, I think it was around thirty, that I was no longer able to have two helpings of food like I could in my youth. So I made a lifestyle commitment to cut back on my portion size. The other thing I noticed was that as I was busy with my job and family, I no longer exercised regularly. So I made a conscious decision to make exercise a personal priority and fit it into my routine schedule.

I have never been one for the gym. I prefer to walk, swim or play frisbee (surprisingly good exercise). I also do a quick ten minutes of stretches, crunches and pilate exercises in the morning and then spend some time on the elliptical later in the evening. I find this is a very simple routine for me to incorporate regular exercise into my life.

Eat real food.

You already know that regular exercise and eating healthy go hand in hand in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat more real food than that processed crap. It may take a little more time to prepare and cook real food but aren’t you worth the time and effort.

Tips to your success.

  • Take baby steps. Commit to at least starting with small steps to introduce exercise into each week, working up to each day. Start small so you don’t get burnt out and quit. Then add more as you develop a routine.
  • Keep it simple. Plan a routine achievable by you, knowing yourself and your limitations.
  • Make it fun. Choose exercise that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter how you work exercise into your day whether it is walking, sports, games or the gym. You are more likely to do it if you enjoy it. Perhaps involve a partner for further motivation.
  • Reduce your portion size. Try drinking a glass of water before your meal. Stop eating when you are full. Limit yourself to only one serving. If you are successful at this during meal time then maybe you can indulge in a little of your spouse’s evening snack.
  • Eat healthy. You know what healthy is; more fruit and greens, less soda and meat. Don’t fall into the habit of fast food. Cooking can be easy, fun and quick. Challenge yourself; try to introduce some new family favorites into your home this year.

One final note – as I mentioned earlier, each day is a chance at a fresh start; don’t beat yourself up over yesterday.  Today is the present, a gift to enjoy.


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