by Greg Landry
When all the celebrating of the holiday season is over, 60% of American adults will resolve to “lose weight and get in shape” for the new year! After years of helping people reach their weight loss goals, I’ve put together 10 keys to help make your New Year’s resolution for weight loss and fitness a successful one!
1. Do some type of aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, stationary cycling, aerobic dancing, etc.) on a DAILY basis… preferably in the morning! (see article… Morning Excercise) Try to average 30 to 60 minutes per day. However, if some days you can only do 15 minutes, that’s still a lot better than doing nothing! Forget this twice-a-week stuff! Our bodies were designed to be active on a daily basis! When we are, our metabolism is super-charged and it also puts us in a “healthy” frame of mind. People who have exercised in the morning make better food choices during the day.
2. Tone your muscles with weight training three days per week. Toned muscles really boost your metabolism and cause you to burn more calories 24 hours a day…yes, even while you’re sleeping you’ll be burning more calories! Toned muscles look good too!
3. Always eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast sends a message to your body that you’re “starving” because you haven’t had food in 18+ hours. As a protective mechanism, your metabolism slows down and your body begins to burn your muscle as fuel.
4. Avoid fad diets! For healthy, permanent weight loss, develop an active lifestyle and concentrate on eating carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limit the amount of fat you consume.
5. Eat earlier in the day! Research has demonstrated that you can lose weight simply by eating a substantial breakfast and lunch, and a light dinner. Dinner should be eaten as early as possible, preferably at least four hours before bedtime.
6. Never eat less than 1200 calories per day! Less than 1200 is usually not enough to support your basal metabolism and thus will slow your metabolism.
7. Look for situations to be active. Park as far from the store as you can rather than looking for the closest parking spot. Use the stairs rather than the elevator, a rake rather than a blower, etc. Look for the “difficult” way to do things…the way the requires the most effort!
8. Avoid alcohol! I call alcohol the “triple whammy”! It depresses your metabolism, stimulates your appetite and it’s loaded with calories!
9. Drink 60+ ounces of water a day. Your body needs plenty water to function properly… especially during weight loss. Water can also help you to feel full. Carry a bottle of water with you and drink frequently throughout the day.
10. Avoid the “3 P’s”….weight loss pills, powders, and potions! There are NO quick fixes! If you vigorously pursue fitness and health… weight loss will happen!!(tm)
By Greg Landry, M.S., Exercise Physiologist www.greglandryfitness.com
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