Every year, more than a few people make the New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Gyms get crowded, diets get started…and then by about now, people start falling away. Work comes back in force, kid’s activities start again, and life gets busy…and resolutions get discarded.
Maybe you just quit, or maybe you’re thinking of quitting. A few years ago, I was in your shoes. I weighed 225 pounds, and the Navy was taping me (measuring my waist and neck) to see if I was within body fat standards. I was always near the line, only a percentage point away from failing. Now I am 185 pounds, well within Navy regulations. On top of feeling better, my blood pressure and cholesterol is at very healthy levels.
So if you’re still up for losing weight, here’s what I recommend:
1. Stop the excuses. You must have the right attitude, or weight loss will not happen. Don’t blame your genetics, don’t say you’re “big boned,” and don’t make excuses. Tell yourself you are fat and that you’re going to lose weight.
2. Don’t drink fizzy drinks. Soda and energy drinks are LOADED with sugar. A regular can of coke has about 100 calories and no nutritional value. Energy drinks are even worse. The sugar causes nasty spikes in blood sugar that make your hormones go crazy and make it hard to fight cravings.
3. Cut the fancy coffee. I’ll just drink a latte for my caffeine, you may say. Hold the phone! Even a standard latte at Starbucks is 190 calories. Anymore it is hard to find just plain coffee. My recommendation is make your own, or just get straight coffee and add what you want. A milk frother for your home latte is only 10 bucks on Amazon, and will save you a lot of cash on drinks. If regular coffee isn’t filling you up, try adding a spoonful of coconut oil to it: the fat in the oil will make you feel full while raising your HDL (the good cholesterol).
4. Cut the appetizers. I used to always order an appetizer when I ate out, and I certainly didn’t hesitate to split one with friends. Appetizers are normally fried and are loaded with batter that quickly breaks into sugar, spiking your blood sugar and making it hard to stop craving food.
5. Get some high energy workouts. Your body breaks fat into water, carbon dioxide and energy. Slow walking around the neighborhood isn’t going to make you lose weight. You need to breathe more and sweat more, meaning you need more cardio. Turn that walk into a run. Get on a gym and get on a spin bike. If you can watch a TV show while you’re biking, you probably aren’t biking hard enough.
6. Start changing your diet. Do all of the above first, because they are low hanging fruit and you should see some immediate gains. Then, start making systemic diet changes:
– Stop going to all you can eat places. Your kids might survive them, but your waistline won’t.
– Load up on vegetables. Stop being a 4-year old and eat your vegetables. If you don’t like how they taste, try finding better ways to cook them, or find different vegetables.
– Limit the boxes. Boxed pasta, snack foods, chips, and other things from the center of the grocery store are terrible for you. They are loaded with preservatives that I can’t pronounce, sugar that spikes hormones, and are designed to be consumed without making you feel full. Ditch them, or at least severely limit their use.
– Be selective about meat. Plenty of people advocate vegetarian diets. I don’t. I think you miss key ingredients, plus you have problems like depression. But, you should be selective about your meat. Talk to a butcher and get to know the cuts of beef and what they are used for. Get smaller, but better quality, cuts and properly cook them. Don’t cut out the bacon, but space it out so you can enjoy the bacon goodness for a long time.
If you do these things, you’ll be that guy or gal still in the gym in February and looking better for it!
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