So many woman today are concerned about their weight. I shouldn’t even say “woman” really, just females in general. Girls as young as 8, 9 or 10 worry. This results in a roller coaster ride that can last as long as your life. There is great concern for obesity in this country and the health problems (like heart disease and diabetes) that can result from it.
How can you help yourself and your family become healthier in a busy life? How can you lose weight and feel better about yourself? How can you do it on a budget?
This is the first step. You have to WANT to. You can’t and won’t do it without motivation. Ask yourself how losing weight will benefit you and your family.
DEAL WITH DISTRACTIONS
I like to say one thing at a time. For example, you can’t lose weight and quit smoking at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take baby steps. You can start making a plan and small adjustments. Work towards changing your habits and losing weight.
I believe this is where a lot of people get let down. The bar is set too high. As the old saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”. Don’t go into your cupboard and toss out all the junk food. Instead, take some time to think about what you can replace that food with when you run out. A healthier cookie, baked chips instead of fried or grapes instead of raisins. Use the internet to help you find foods you like. This is key. If you don’t like cottage cheese, you won’t eat it just because you think you will lose weight with it. Do not kid yourself. You will be disappointed.
Nasty word! Not really. This is another misconception. You don’t have to become a runner, or a swimmer, or take up a sport. You don’t have to put aside an hour every day and work yourself silly. You do, however, have to incorporate movement into your life. Everything we do is excercise. Take 5 – 10 minutes, 3 times a day and do something. Walk around swinging your arms, sit down then stand up and repeat, dance, take the 5 minutes and organize that shelf you’ve been meaning to get to. Be creative. Walk around while you’re on the phone, stretch, skip or jump up and down. Do a little of this and then a little of that. Set the timer on your microwave and in a weeks time add one minute and keep doing this til you’ve worked your way up to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Stand when you can. Standing burns more calories than sitting. What I am trying to say is become aware of what you are doing when you are doing it. Watching tv? Ok, how about standing up during commercials or doing a few minutes of stretching or tickling your kids? Working on the computer? Ok, how about swinging your legs while you are there for a few minutes? When you start to take notice of what you are doing, that’s when you begin to realize how much we don’t use our muscles. When you combine movement with healthier eating you become healthier. A little bit at a time.
This does not mean you can’t have pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, mashed potatoes or whatever foods you like. It means you have to look at your food and how much of it you are consuming. Let’s say you buy a nice 4lb lasagna and a loaf a garlic bread from M&M’s. Nice, fast, yummy dinner and it feeds 4 people. How about you cut that lasagna into 6 pieces and put two into the freezer after its been cooked. Do this every two weeks and the third time is free. Less calories and less cost. Add a salad or some fruit to your plate with a low cal dressing. Have one slice of pizza instead of two. Add a nice corn on the cob or a heaping of your favorite veggies on the side. Eat slowly and enjoy the taste. Reorganize your thinking about the foods you are cooking not the foods themselves.
For example, did you know that 10 cups of spinach, 1 small apple and 1 1/2 cups of strawberries is only about 225 calories? That’s a lot of food. Change your bread to whole wheat. Half a pita makes a great sandwhich with less than half the calories of 2 slices of white bread. Feel like ice cream? Did you know that a kiddies cone from McDonalds only has 45 calories? You are craving the taste, not the quantity.
When you start to adjust how you are eating and moving, that is when you will start to be healthier. It’s tough to begin with because we are all set in our ways. Once you begin to make small changes, larger changes happen naturally. Would you be happy if one year from now you weighed 15lbs lighter and your overall health had improved? If you add 20 minutes per day, every day of the week (in addition to your normal routine) as described above, you would lose 1000 calories per week or 15lbs over the course of one year. Drop 150 calories a day of the food you are currently eating and lose 1000 calories per week or 15lbs in a year. That’s 30lbs!!! In one year!!!
Remember, this is not set in stone. Everyone loses weight at a different pace. Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Your scale will not show minor changes. Weigh in once a week. Use the same scale and about the same time of day. Weight fluctuates throughout the day.
Enjoy your food! Your habits will become your families habits.