BY WAYNE SALTER
Every year, especially in January, I see so many people jump into a weight loss program with enthusiasm. Sadly, most don’t make it. Why? Because they don’t do it right. I want you succeed, and you CAN, if you go about it the right way.
Anxious Annie: An all too familiar story
Annie is 38, married, has two kids and a career, which led to her own self-care perpetually staying on the back burner. She doesn’t sleep well, is always tired and hates what she sees in the mirror every day. Annie has tried time and time again to lose weight (and sometimes she does) but it always sneaks back around her belt-line when life demands more time at home than at the gym.
When New Year’s resolution time rolled around, Annie decided it was finally time to get serious and put her gym membership to good use (she’s been paying for years, after all). She decided to go to the gym for an hour a day, five days per week and restrict calories. The first couple of days were a struggle, but she had a plan and nothing was going to stop her. Annie split her time at the gym between the treadmill and ab machines. It felt good to sweat and she was starting to feel better about herself. Her diet consisted of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a plain salad and a banana for lunch and another salad for dinner. Annie told herself that she was willing to do whatever it took to finally lose the weight—even if that meant being hungry and watching the rest of the family eat as usual.
By the end of January, Annie had lost only one pound, still was not sleeping well, couldn’t think clearly during and was grumpy most of the time. Frustrated, she gave up going to the gym, and quit her “diet”. Don’t be an Anxious Annie.
3 Things a Good Weight Loss Plan is NOT and How to Shift Your Focus:
1) A weight-loss plan is not a starvation diet. Your body needs a proper balance of nutrients to function at optimal levels—this includes adequate protein, fats and yes, carbs. Making simple changes to your diet can result in a huge difference to your over-all health. Focus on portion control and making healthy choices. Swap ground turkey for ground beef, use natural sweeteners such as stevia or honey instead of sugar, have a baked sweet potato as a side instead of mashed potatoes. Make salads with mixed greens and be sure to load them with nutrient-packed toppings such as seeds, boiled eggs, avocado and colorful vegetables—and don’t forget to go light on the dressing (make your own blend to cut down on salt).
2) A weight-loss plan is not temporary. If you’re doing something that you can’t realistically keep up for a lifetime, then you’re not doing it correctly. You can’t think of this as short term. The key is to make changes to both your diet and exercise routine in a way that will garner long-term results. If you’ve burned out on the gym in the past, make a commitment to walk around the block during your lunch break at least three times per week—even better, invite a co-worker to join you for accountability and comradery. When you eat out, be aware of the calorie count listed on the menu at restaurants and make your choices accordingly (aim for 500-700 calories per meal; a 1,000+ calorie breakfast combo every day has approximately half of the calorie allotment of the recommended daily intake and would not lead to weight loss).
3) A weight-loss plan is not just about cardio and ab exercises. As a matter of fact, don’t waste your time doing a single crunch! The big muscle groups of your body – legs, hips, chest and back –are responsible for the greatest amount of calorie burn in your body. Energizing those groups will help speed up your metabolism, so include some type of resistance exercise 3-4 times per week. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks are much more effective uses of your time and energy.
Please don’t be drawn to the latest fat burning supplement, shake, smoothie or restrictive diet. They are just bright, shiny distractions that we put hope in for results. News flash: they won’t work—at least not long-term. Trust me. Stay the course. Focus on what matters: aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night; drink more water; eat until you are satisfied (not stuffed nor hungry); move more during the day; and include resistance exercises for your whole body 2-3 times a week. Your clothes will fit better, you’ll sleep like a baby and your friends and family will notice that you are much happier.
Wayne Salter owns Greenville Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 4125 F. Old Tar Road, Winterville, NC 28590. For more information, visit fitbodybootcamp.com/greenvillefitnessbootcamp,
call 252-916-2039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.