Because of words like diet, cleanses and fasts, our definition of normal eating has gotten lost. Normal eating should be flexible, and it should change based on your response to hunger, your schedule, your feelings and your proximity to food. A lot of people want to know how to jumpstart their metabolism, normalize their eating pattern and utilize what they eat more efficiently. We all know that if your goal is to lose weight then you must expend more energy (calories) than you take in. With that in mind, here are five tips to boost your metabolism.
The new year is an exciting time. As 2012 comes to the end, it is the perfect time to renew your commitment to the goals you want to achieve. Set yourself up for success by following these tips for setting achievable goals.
Tip 1: Set SMART goals
SMART goals are:
Tip 2: Set a Lifetime Goal
The best goal you can set would be a lifetime goal. Why? Because it is a goal that you can always improve on, and it shapes the way all your other goals are attained. Set a goal that you want to achieve, not what others feel you should accomplish.
Tip 3: Set small goals
Setting smaller, achievable goals will help you reach your main goal by achieving smaller milestones along the way. By setting smaller goals, you allow yourself to specialize and focus in one area at a time. It is easier to stay motivated when you are accomplishing many small goals rather than falling short on one large, unrealistic goal. Stay positive, smaller goals add up over time.
Tip 4: Reward Yourself
Once you complete a goal, take time to enjoy your accomplishments! A reward should be something for yourself that you enjoy and deserve. It can be tangible or intangible such a buying a new shirt or going for a walk to clear your mind. These rewards will give you motivation to continue setting new attainable goals since you know there is something at the finish line. Never reward yourself with food.
- You think fat-free also means calorie-free – When a food claims to be fat-free, sugar-free, or light, it doesn’t mean the food is low in calories or even healthy. Eating these foods often lead people to think they can eat more! How many times have you thought, “These cookies are low-fat, which means I can eat more.”? Always check to see how many calories there are in one serving before you begin eating to avoid any unwanted surprises.
- You’re not being truthful to yourself – No one saw you eat that handful of potato chips, so it doesn’t count, right? Accountability is a big part of weight loss, and it’s a lot harder to be accountable to ourselves than to other people. Many people find using food diary websites or Smartphone apps to log their food intake as a great way to stay accountable. Try using My Fitness Pal or Lose It!
- You are skipping breakfast to save calories – People who skip breakfast actually eat more! Eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism for the rest of the day. Eating only one or two large meals at the end of the day is like throwing wood into a fire that has no flame. Eat something within one hour of waking up. If you are not a breakfast person, try having a meal replacement shake or smoothie, which are not as heavy on the stomach.
- You think you can’t exercise – Anything that raises your heart rate counts as exercise. Think about what kind of physical activity you enjoy doing — you are much more likely to stick to it if you like it. For those that are short on time, exercise is cumulative. You don’t need to exercise for long periods of time to see the benefits. And most importantly, remember that some exercise is always better than none at all.
- You are expecting perfection – We all know that no one is perfect. But for some reason, we expect ourselves to be perfect when it comes to losing weight. We get angry with ourselves for “falling off the wagon”. Learn to forgive yourself. Remember that we don’t have to hit a home run; we just need to get on base.
Just a couple of years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, Jim Blackburn prepares for his first Peachtree Road Race. Since the operation, Blackburn has dropped over 200 pounds and no longer needs a C-PAP to help with snoring. Jim stated, before receiving care at Emory University Hospital, his knees and ankles hurt terribly from carrying his weight. Along with high blood pressure and sleep apnea he began to experience the early on-set of diabetes.
Since surgery, “My life has changed 180 degrees. It’s totally turned around,” said Blackburn.
Check out Blackburn’s interview with Fox 5 Atlanta.
Are you running the Peachtree Road Race along with Jim? Then check out 10 tips that will ensure you get to the finish safely.
Reasons we are not Exercising and Strategies to Overcome all of the Excuses
Weight loss is not an easy task to accomplish. Often times it involves a lifestyle change in which we are forced to change habits we have developed over a lifetime. Many of us have trouble incorporating physical activity into our daily routines and come up with a number of excuses as to why we are not going to do it. It is time to combat these excuses with pre-contemplated strategies so these excuses cannot hold us back.
With that said, these are the top 5 excuses we hear most often for not exercising and tips to help you overcome excuses:
1) I’m Too Tired
- Wake up 30 minutes early and work out. It will increase your energy for the rest the day!
- Choose to do an activity you enjoy instead of “working out.” Garden in the spring or ice-skate in the winter to burn away the calories.
- Start small; exercise will increase your energy. Try going on a 5-minute walk and see how you can progress each day!
2) I Don’t Have Time
- Utilize your lunch break. Walk outside, or try going up and down the stairs for a challenge!
- While watching your favorite TV show, do crunches or push-ups during the commercials!
- Schedule time to exercise in your calendar, phone, etc the same as you would for a meeting or your child’s play date.
3) I’m Too Sore from My Last Work Out
- Exercise a different part of your body. If your legs hurt from walking, focus on your upper body.
- Stretch! This can help to improve flexibility and reduce the tension in your muscles.
4) Exercise is Boring
- Experiment! Try swimming or Zumba — find something you enjoy!
- Bring a book, magazine, or iPod to entertain you while you exercise.
- Bring a friend! Ask someone to join you to chat and the time will fly by.
5) I Hate to Sweat
- Exercise in the pool! Join a water aerobics class or just kick your feet while holding onto the side of the pool.
- Walk indoors! Ladies try a walk around the mall, and men try a sporting good store to workout and cool off.
- Try resistance exercises. Not all exercise makes you sweat. Try this website for some great strength training suggestions!
So now it is time to stop with all of the excuses, and get moving. Incorporate one or all of these strategies into your workout routine to keep you focused and motivated on your long-term goals. It is not always easy, but when you feel the excuses escape your lips, recall these strategies to keep active!
Looking for even more ways to incorporate effective weight management techniques into your daily life? Tomorrow, Meagan Mohammadione, Registered Dietitian from the Emory Bariatric Center, is hosting a free web chat to discuss healthy recipe modification tips to boost the nutrition of your Thanksgiving menu, while lessening the guilt! There’s still time to sign up and join her!