Dropping A Few Pounds

If you haven’t been to a recent child’s birthday party, see if you can wangle an invitation. Fortunately for me, I was invited to and went to my great-great niece’s third birthday party last weekend. And, me, oh, my, the food was delicious and beautiful. I found myself lingering near the food and sampling it more than I should. Okay. What’s all this leading up to? You guessed it. A need to drop a few pounds before swimsuit weather gets here.

When my old scale conked out, I ordered a new digital one from Amazon.com. Any brand will do, I’m sure, but I’ve been a Taylor consumer since high school. My new beauty lights up and gives me a really large display of my weight. Some days I’m happy; others I know that it’s a salad or liquid day for sure.

Bear with me as I am going to share with you some weight loss information I received in a BCBS e-mail. Seems that about 33% of all us Americans are considered obese; not fat or overweight, but obese. In fact, the CDC thinks that weighing too much puts you at risk for many serious health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Since heart disease is rampant in my family, I want to stay on the slim side. Just how to do it is the problem.

“Eat less and exercise more” has always been the golden rule for dropping pounds. But how do you really accomplish that? Here are the five must-haves in a weight loss strategy, according to the researchers at Johns Hopkins.

1) Plenty of interaction and support. You want ongoing contact with friends who will encourage you. Researchers recommend at least 14 check-ins with your weight loss buddies over six months. This might be in person or by phone or email. Support is so critical in helping us through the weight loss process.

2) Diet changes that are backed by science. “Things like the Paleo diet are very hot right now but haven’t been studied with their effects on weight loss,” doctors say. You want an approach that has solid evidence to support that it works. This might be a low-calorie eating plan or meal replacements, or a well-studied diet for weight loss, like Atkins.

3) Exercise encouragement. Develop a schedule, a plan to get you moving more. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity (like walking) each week. You can divvy that up however you like. Keep in mind that exercise is key if you want to stay at your lighter weight once you’ve dropped pounds, but doctors say it’s hard to lose weight with just exercise alone. Join the Downtown Y and come exercise with us Tuesday and Thursday mornings. After 30 days, you’ll have formed a habit.

4) Behavior strategies. Your plan should encourage things like weighing yourself, meal planning, or tracking your food or exercise. I weigh every morning at the same time–just after I get out of bed and record my weight on a calendar that I keep near the scale.

5) Approved meds only. Steer clear of any thing that pushes fat burners or other supplements that aren’t FDA-approved for weight loss. The FDA offers a list of dangerous weight loss products. You can sign up for email alerts, too. Guilty. I ordered some capsules, but chickened out and didn’t take them. Twenty dollars down the drain, but more self-discipline.

Annie Ambles cuts out the bread and sweets needed to lose weight

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