It seems I cannot open my computer without some news about dieting. I can't pick up a magazine or newspaper without an article about weight loss (and then the next page features a recipe for a gooey cake), and I can't turn on the radio or TV without an ad for some miracle pill or medicine to make losing weight quick and effortless. Fact: more money is spent on diet, nutrition and obesity research than on cancer research. Why? Because more people are overweight than have cancer! Today's AOL website news? Obesity may be due, in part, to a viral infection. It seems that "Adenovirus Ad36....one of a family of viruses that causes colds could be the culprit in some cases of obesity in humans and other animals".
Great cop-out, no? What next, an obesity plant, like poison ivy? Please, let's not use the virus excuse, like when we used "my glands don't work properly" (the only gland that didn't work was the mouth). Weight loss is the result of eating less calories than you expend, limiting processed foods and fats, exercising and hydrating properly. Weight management is making lifestyle changes, changes in thoughts and behaviors, changes in expectations of ourselves, our bodies and the food. It is about using the food as nourishment, not nurturance.
What the editors of Prevention Magazine call "the Ten Commandments of Weight Loss" can be used as a guide to keep us on the right path (like the 10 we received at Mt. Sinai)
1. Believe in Yourself
If you don't think you can do it, chances are, you won't. Talk to yourself - tell yourself "I am teachable" "I can change".
2. Set the right goals
Not number goals, those never work (I have to lose 5 pounds this week is not a goal - that's your body's job) The goals I'm talking about are behavior goals - the drinking water goals, the exercise goals, the planning and preparation of food goals. Start small and write them down. This takes the goal from a fantasy to a reality.
3. Eat more
Yes, I'm serious. Eating more (every 3-4 hours) keeps your blood sugar stable and your metabolism revved up so that you will not feel hungry and burn fat more efficiently.
4. Eat smart
Have you ever eaten in a stupid (sorry!) way? Then you know how to eat smart. Ask yourself whenever you are eating - is this going to bring me closer to my goal or push me further and further away?
5. Get moving
Activity is important whether a person wants to lose weight or not - it boosts the immune system, helps release endorphins (the feel-good hormone), strengthens muscles (including the heart muscle), helps ease depression, and is important for a host of other body functions - including weight loss and weight loss maintenance!
6. Build muscle
The more efficiently your muscle works, the better your rate of fat burning. Three days a week, 15-20 minutes each, of strength training helps keep calcium in your bones, tones the body and keeps those calories burning even when you are in bed reading that great book!!
7. Binge proof your life
Keep those favorites out of the house! Eat breakfast! Keep a food diary!Always have a healthy alternative available! Keep busy!
8. Talk yourself thin
When you see that binge food and the conversation in your head says "come on, it's only one", "I deserve a treat" "I need this" - you are talking yourself right into unhealthy habits. Your job is to talk yourself OUT of overeating, not INTO it!
9. Make motivation easier
Write a list of why you want to lose that weight, and read it DAILY! Review all the positive changes you've made. Look at the weight loss progress...do the calculation - how much did you weigh at the beginning, and how much now?
10. Reward yourself
No - not with food, but with a non-food reward. A new tape, agood book, a nap, an uninterrupted phone conversation, a bouquet of flowers, 1/2 day off from work, a babysitter so that you can have some much-needed alone time. No one will appreciate your hard work as much as you will - certainly you will not find that appreciation in a box of cookies!
Some of these commandments will become more important to you than others - use them as motivation and inspiration along the way.
Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.
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