By Chris Freytag
A recent study conducted by Life Time Fitness asked: What would you give up to lose 10 pounds? More than 2,300 people, predominately female, responded and the results were staggering. Sixty four percent of respondents would not turn off their cell phone for even one day and 70 percent would be unwilling to give up use of the internet. In order to lose the weight, 30 percent of respondents said they would give up sex for one month and 10 percent would do so for a year or more.
Other findings showed that 65 percent of those polled would run one mile every day if weight loss was guaranteed. Almost half would forego caffeine, and 37 percent would skip one meal a day. More than 30 percent of respondents would pay $500 to be 10 pounds lighter and another 10 percent would postpone their wedding or another special event.
No doubt that people are desperate to lose weight. Instead of giving up sex or your cellphone, follow these eight tips to lose the weight once and for all …
1. Don’t expect the weight to come off fast. People often resolve to be an entirely new person at the start of a New Year. While it’s terrific to set new goals, be realistic! You aren’t going to become a gym rat overnight if you hated going to the gym on December 31st and before. Setting unrealistic goals sets people up for failure and then they give up. Start smaller. Resolve to go to the gym two times a week if you never used to go before. Or focus on a few pounds of weight loss at a time. Aim for small wins so you don’t throw in the towel when you don’t have instant success. Remember: It takes time to gain weight; it takes time to lose it.
2. Realize exercise and your diet are married … forever. You can’t lose weight with one and not the other—period. If you work out a ton and think that allows you to loosen up on what you eat, you won’t see the results you hope to see. People often overestimate calories burned and underestimate calories consumed. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Consistently burn more than you consume and you will be on your way to weight loss.
3. Eat the rainbow. If everything you eat has a long list of ingredients (that you can’t pronounce) and comes out of a can or box, you probably aren’t eating healthy. Look for seasonal fruits and veggies and go for a rainbow of food colors on your plate as a way to gauge the nutritional value of your food. When you aspire to eat colorfully, you are also more likely to get your five servings of fruits and veggies each day and eat less processed foods.
4. Same habits equal same results. If you always do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got. If you aren’t getting results, change what you are doing.
6. Ditch excuses. I have heard them all—from lack of time to lack of motivation and everything in between. Excuses won’t leave you stuck and you won’t see results. For every problem there’s a solution. If time is your challenge, schedule exercise like any other appointment. If it’s important to you, you will prioritize it. If it isn’t important to you, you will make an excuse.
7. Watch your portions. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat. How many servings are in your portion? Often what we are eating isn’t a bad choice, but we are eating too much of it. Specifically, watch your intake at restaurants where the portions are huge.
8. Sleep. Medical evidence suggests how much you sleep and quite possibly the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite. Bottom line: A lack of sleep can make you hungry. Aim for seven to eight hours each night.
Use these 10 tips to see real results this year and you won’t have to give up on sex—or your cell phone!
Chris Freytag is a health and fitness expert, author and speaker. She has been teaching fitness classes and personal training for over 20 years. She is a contributing editor for Prevention Magazine; the fitness contributor for the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis; and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise. Chris has authored 5 books; has created dozens of fitness DVD’s; and sells her signature line of healthy kitchen and fitness products on QVC. Connect with Chris at www.chrisfreytag.com www.Facebook.com/ChrisFreytagpage or on Twitter @ChrisFreytag