A New You for the New Year
It's that time again. You look in the mirror and see where last month's Thanksgiving dinner landed. Those new skinny jeans you received for Christmas look more like jodhpurs and you begin to envision how you might accessorize the 'Forever Lazy' for the first day back to work.
The over indulgence of the Holidays has quickly turned to a dreaded reality. You've somehow manged to channel your inner Santa on the outside for all to see. You ask yourself how this could have happened and it starts to come back to you, just like the visions of the office Christmas party where you swear you drank the punch that wasn't spiked. The Thanksgiving seconds, the cookies that had to be sampled before serving, and the gravy...don't forget the gravy.
Admittedly, everyone over indulges for the holidays. It starts simple enough in October, a few of the kid's treats won't hurt. Then we hit the full scale plethora of indulgence at Thanksgiving, which we always shrug off as a one once a year feast. But the reality is from there on out it's boxes of chocolate at the office, cookie trays from the neighbors, party after party and by the time we realize just how much we've eaten, that extra piece of fudge is already firmly planted on your thigh.
Ahh! Now What?
Well it's here and we can't cover it with the 'forever lazy' till summer. So what next? We glance at the super market tabloids, anxiously looking for a way to take off in 10 days, what took us 3 months to put on.
Diet fads are everywhere after the holidays and they feed on your desire to get that weight off quickly. (pun intended). The problem is fad diets just don't work. You can't erase 3 months of indulgence in 10 days and these diets are simply not healthy. They lead to binge eating and yo yo dieting. Once you start these things you're stuck following diets that just can't realistically be followed for long periods of time. The second you go off them your body starts to stockpile and prepare for the next time you try to trick it like that.
There is Hope
If you approach dieting in a reasonable way, knowing that it's not going to be a quick or easy process you will see results. You cannot expect fad diets to work for the long term. I've seen it first hand. So many of my friends and relatives, swearing by this fad diet or that one, only to gain back the weight and more once they go off the ridiculous regimen of 'special' foods.Most of these diets do not include exercise and that makes it painfully obvious that these diets aren't going to work.
I get caught up in the holiday feasts just as much as the next person and I definitely have a winter weight panic. I've watched as the yo yo diets and fads destroy people's hopes and health. I've learned that this method doesn't work for them and it's certainly not going to work for me.
I have a simple regimen that works for me and though I can't guarantee it will work for you I can guarantee it's a much healthier approach than fad diets. My plan is simple because frankly I am a horrible meal planner and I lack the enthusiasm to attend the gym on a regular basis.
I don't acclimate to diets well. I like to eat different food. A diet of vegetables or meat only doesn't do it for me. I am a carb-oholic, so don't even mention a diet without carbs. Like most of the extremely limiting diets these restrictions only serve to make me crave what I can't have and it's a recipe for failure.
I'm sharing my plan with you because it works for me and I hope it will for you to.
- #1--Don't expect to lose 3 months of weight gain in 10 days. My goal is lose just what I gained by late spring. I find this to be a reasonable amount of time to get real results with out starvation.
- #2--Don't eat after 8:00pm. I've heard this one over and over. 8:00pm is the dieter's witching hour. It's when we finally sit down, maybe watch a favorite show or two and begin to grab for that snack that makes the stress of the day disappear. Don't do it!
- #3--Portion control. I eat what I want as far as variety, but stop short of a full plate. If I think I can't eat something, it only fuels my desire to eat it in excess.
- #4- Exercise. No way around it you have to exercise to get results. I'm not going to kid you and act like I visit the gym everyday, I don't. I try to do an activity at least 3 times a week. I start off at a 1/2 hour of activity and increase to one hour. You don't have to get a gym membership, ride a stationary bike, use a treadmill, or get some use out of the Wii you gave the kids for Christmas. Mix it up a bit and keep it fun, when a routine gets boring switch it up so you don't loose interest. Consider buying some cheap weights or use soup cans to start out. You can find simple exercises for light weights anywhere on the internet.
- #5--Don't skip meals. You've heard it a million times and there's a reason why. It does not help you loose weight and keep it off. Eat three meals a day and control the portion size for each meal. Your body burns calories all day and as long as it has small meals it keeps on chugging. Skip a meal and your body starts to believe it's starving, so what does it do it makes sure to conserve part of the next meal....how does the body store food...in fat cells of course.
- #6--There is no perfect size. You may never be a size 6 and who cares. We need curves in this world. Starvation is not beautiful. Often women are the culprits of this myth, more so than men. Ask most men what size a woman wears and they don't have any idea. Ask a woman and she's likely to guess any other woman's weight down to the pound. Ladies we all know we aren't fixated on a man's weight, and guess what they aren't fixated on ours either. Guys like curves, always have. Yes, it's true that many people are not particularly easy on those they consider obese (certainly not condoning this, but it's a fact), the truth is most of us fall somewhere around normal weight and we are the ones that obsess in an unhealthy way about being the perfect size. Real weight loss is about feeling good and being healthy.
The things I suggest are a compilation of the different articles I've read on getting healthy and loosing pounds safely. I'm no expert on weight loss, but I've found that this plan does work for me and since the basics are well known diet advice, it should work for you too.
What I offer to this plan is simple, just keep at it. Give it time and don't beat yourself up if you veer from the plan. Eating too much one day or skipping a 1/2 hour of activity on a busy week, is not going to be detrimental because you aren't expecting instant results.
I fail diets that are too rigid, always have...guess it's the rebel in me. Tell me I can't have something and I'm hell bent to get it. Tell me I have to exercise everyday and I'm sure to feel overwhelmed and give up, but with this plan I don't feel overwhelmed and before I know it I've set a routine I can keep.
Go you Chicken Fat Go!!--Seriously-I know you remember this and it is a great workout.
- Slide show: Guide to portion control for weight loss - MayoClinic.com
Portion control — Use visual cues to help with weight loss
- Exercising at Home
Exercising at Home, When you can't afford expensive equipment.
- Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise lessens back pain by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to back structures and decreasing the stiffness in the back and joints.