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SUMMER SHEDDING…POUNDS, OF COURSE

IT’S TIME TO FEEL LIGHTER AND SHED SOME WEIGHT FOR SUMMER

The warm weather is on its way and it’s time to shed that winter weight. If you’re like me, you are looking forward to shedding those layers of clothing and that heavy coat, and are yearning for those light clothes so your skin can breathe and soak in some Vitamin D. But we want that body underneath to feel lighter too. A lot of people struggle to lose weight because, I think, they don’t begin with the right attitude or the right plan. Losing weight means changing eating habits and that means behavioral change; and behavioral change begins with the right attitude  and motivation.  The right plan is a specific set of strategies that fit your needs and obstacles. The place to start in developing your plan is, I believe, in looking at your current eating habits and obstacles to losing weight; honestly identify what triggers your overeating or unhealthy eating, and focus on things you can do to replace these triggers and eat better. Then clarify how you will be healthier and feel better if you lose weight – and remind yourself daily of this reason. And finally be kind to yourself in realizing that improper eating is not simply a result of your weakness or lack of discipline, but also caused by an environment that bombards us with devilish food enticements at every turn.  Here are some suggestions to SHED SOME HEAVINESS in time for Summer:

Change HOW you eat

Spread your calories out over your day – ideally five small meals a day.  This will help keep your blood sugar stable and speed up your metabolism. Eat three portion-controlled meals, based on calories you need to consume to lose weight. DON’T SKIP MEALS, ESPECIALLY BREAKFAST. Include protein and fiber at breakfast. Have two small (100-150 calories) snacks between meals. Avoid becoming starved or eating too close to bedtime.  Use a smaller plate, control portion size, and eat slowly.  And it really helps to prepare your own meals, and avoid eating-out or getting take-in as much as possible.

Change WHAT you eat

Reduce processed foods as much as possible. Decrease white sugar, white flour, and salt. Don’t drink your calories: especially avoid sweetened soda, juices, creamers. Remember that alcohol calories do count. Drink 6-8 glasses water daily; liven up your water with fresh fruit slices, ginger, cucumbers! Eat more vegetables – fresh or frozen. Focus on eating, in addition to vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, healthy fats, and whole grains. Use your imagination to create healthy meals that taste good and look beautiful with the Summer bounty.

Pay attention to constipation and other stomach discomforts

Nothing gives you the blahs or a feeling of heaviness like chronic constipation or other digestive problems. Confront your realities and get your system perking again, with eating sufficient fiber and other foods to promote your intestinal health. Also, please be aware of the all important stress-gut connection, realizing that poorly addressed stress appears in the tummy!  Get help if you need it.

Good sleep and good stress management count

Loads of current clinical data indicate the correlation between weight gain/obesity and poor sleep and stress care. If these apply to you, incorporate improvement strategies into your weight loss plan.

Keep a journal and be accountable

Clinical research on effective weight loss also highlights the helpfulness of documenting everything you eat and drink, and reviewing your journal regularly. You can be accountable by regularly scheduled weigh-ins or reviews with a health care professional or friend.

Change your environment

You can increase your weight loss efforts by tweaking your own environment:  surround yourself with as many positive, supportive people as possible and minimize your contacts with the “haters”; announce to significant others that you are on a healthier eating plan; prepare a written shopping list when you go to the store to avoid impulse buying; post motivational notes to yourself at prime locations in your environment; get rid of junk food in your cabinets; place healthy food in visible locations in your frig; use a money jar to reward yourself!

And keep moving!

The warm weather is a perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities, as well as to maintain your routine of strength, cardio, and flexibility.  Have fun and try something new!

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Lawrence Shopping Center
(near Burlington Coat Factory)
2495 Route 1 at Texas Ave.
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

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phone: 609.882.4500
fax: 609.406.1471

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