Changing your attitude to loose that spare tire

clip_image001_thumb.jpgAre you carrying around a few extra pounds and not sure how to get rid of it? Have you tried every fad diet, bizarre food combination or late night TV gadget that promises weight loss? Well, you must face this fact – no matter what late night TV fitness guru preaches – gimmicks do not work – weight loss is not fast, simple or easy. It requires changing your mind set, lifestyle and habits, none of which change overnight. Here are a few tips to start the renovation of your lifestyle and attitude.

First – your attitude needs to change. Changes happen slowly; you must set reasonable goals and stick to them to change your attitude.  Have a large goal, like losing weight, but break that down into daily attainable goals – today I will walk one mile; today I will drink half my body weight in ounces of water; today I will eat a salad instead of a cheeseburger for lunch. All these ideas are small, attainable goals that you can accomplish which build on each other for a healthier lifestyle.

Tip number two is setting goals; they are like rungs on a ladder, these mini changes will help you transform your mind and lifestyle and that spare tire.

The third tip is to make a food diary…the math is easy, less calories in the mouth (+) more calories expended out with exercise = weight loss. The only way to know this it to know how many calories you are currently eating to maintain your “marshmallow middle” so that you can reduce the current calories to trim yourself to a more healthy weight. A total of 3,500 calories is one pound – that’s a lot of food if you think about it! To lose weight, you will need to expend that in energy exercising as well as decrease your food intake. A simple way to look at creating this calorie deficit is: doing 250 calories of exercise a day, and decreasing your calories by 250 a day (total 500 calories less), so that in a week (seven days) this will be the 3,500 calorie deficit you need to loose that pound. Of course, your daily intake of calories needs to be no less than 1,200 and no greater than about 2,000 in general sense, you cannot be eating 1,000 extra calories and doing 250 in exercise and expect to lose weight, you are still eating 750 more than you need and you will not lose weight.  When you use a food diary, you see the calories going in – when and why you ate the calories, and then set target your food intake and reduce that amount to lose weight. Do not be a scale watcher – a better measure of “weight loss” is taking your body fat and/or trying on tight clothes, these will often change before you see changes on the scale. Do not get discouraged, the belly was not built in a day, and it will not come off in a day.

Fourth step…get active! You do not need fancy equipment, just adding 30 minutes of movement to your day is a great start. Increasing muscle mass will not only make you look better, but you will burn more calories!  So, to eat more, build more muscle. If you need accountability with your exercise (which most of us do) grab a friend and make a pact to do it together over a break, lunch, before or after work – make it part of your day and lifestyle to move more! Set a date with yourself or that exercise buddy and plan your fitness, as you plan anything else in life. Whatever you do, you need to get active, burn more calories and move more to change your body. The key is being consistent, a little each day to start is better than doing an hours and burning out…exercise is like brushing your teeth in that way, you cannot store it up by brushing 10 times in a day for the next week…you need to do it daily to have results!

Simples stuff we all know and have heard many times…now…take the next step and do it!  Motivation takes time, make the body go the mind follows and then the motivation will come when you feel better and look better.


About Janelle Baldwin

Janelle Baldwin is a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and lead fitness trainer for Agnesian HealthCare’s on-site fitness center, called the ZONE. She is a certified weight trainer (CWT), a strength and conditioning specialist (STS) and a certified strength and conditioning instructor (CSCI). Her 15 years of professional experience ranges from home care and work hardening/conditioning with the Agnesian HealthCare Sports, Spine & Work Center for many years to her role as a certified personal trainer; teaching fitness classes for which she is trained and certified for and maintaining the on-site fitness facility.

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