My goal as I coach you toward better eating and exercise habits is to help you make changes that aren’t just healthy, but are doable. My goal isn’t to “fix” your body, but to help you feel and be your best. Thin is not always healthy, and my philosophy has always been to coach people toward better health – healthy blood pressure, blood sugars and lipids – not perfectly chiseled bodies.
A healthy weight (which is defined as a BMI of 24 or lower) does have an impact on these factors, but in some cases, your doctor or dietitian may evaluate weight differently and come up with what I call a “reasonable weight”. For the person who hasn’t weighed less than 230 pounds for the past fifteen or twenty years, that BMI may not be reasonable and another goal can be set.
3 Simple Pre-Holiday Tips to Get Your Groove On
We all know how to lose weight – create a calorie deficit and exercise more. This means eating less, moving more, and choosing smaller portions and foods that are lower in calories. It’s always easier said than done, but it’s much easier if you set small goals. Follow these three simple tips:
- EAT SMALLER PORTIONS. It’s possible to include a variety of foods (even occasional junk or sweets) and still maintain health, but portions and calories must match your body’s metabolism (based on your age and activity level). Have the pasta, just cut the portion in half; enjoy the dessert, but split it; bake the cookies using a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon; modify recipes using low fat dairy products; add less fat to reduce calories in cooking; have a 140-calorie English muffin instead of a 240 calorie bagel.
- ENJOY WHAT YOU EAT. You should be enjoying your food. It’s not healthy to overeat excessively, but it’s also not healthy to deprive yourself of favorite foods. Instead of focusing on what to “cut out”, focus on what to “put in” to your diet – fruits, vegetables and grains that are loaded with fiber and important nutrients.
- MOVE MORE OFTEN Moving your body more is key for weight control and wellness, but you don’t want to fall into an excessive or compulsive exercise trap. As this study showed, it doesn’t have to be intense to benefit health. It does have to happen though.
Try it. As the holiday season approaches, think simple. The beautiful thing about setting a few simple goals, is that you can actually achieve something. Write up a “Simple Goal List” this week. You can also consider keeping notes about your progress. Here are some examples:
- Take three 10-minute walks (for instance – one at 7am, one at noon, one at 6pm). Not only will this put your body in motion three times a day, it will help clear your mind as well.
- Add a protein source to breakfast: 1 egg, 1/2 cup cottage cheese or ricotta, 8 ounces milk
- Make yourself move more in daily activities: Take the stairs at work. Vacuum the house 3 times a week instead of just one. Sweep or shovel the sidewalk by hand instead of using power tools.
- Make a soothing cup of tea with honey in the evening in lieu of a sweet snack.
Shift your focus from the scale or “immediate results”, and instead focus on what you checked off your “simple goal list”. A healthy lifestyle is a long journey, not an overnight success. Let me know how it goes!