In our microwave Los Angeles society of hurry up and wait, maintaining a healthy weight can be as challenging as managing your food cravings. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight in the past, you might think diets don’t work. You’re right, they don’t in the long run but are merely a short-term quick fix. Below I have given a few suggestions that have worked for my clients in the past to help them stay on track with their nutrition plan, weight loss and a healthier relationship to food.
The key to successful weight loss and management is calories consumed vs. calories burned. It’s that simple! Well on paper it is, but most of us have a hard time grasping the amount of calories are in 1 pound. It takes 3,500 calories to equal a pound. Therefore to drop one pound in a week, you will need to cut 500 calories a day for seven days. Easy right? There you have it, now get to work. Not so fast, if it was that simple we’d all be lean mean machines. The truth is diets don’t show us the difference between a quick fix and a lifestyle change.
Most of us make weight loss more difficult then it needs to be with extreme diets that leave us starving or irritable, which lead to emotional eating or, worst-case scenario, scrapping the plan altogether. Getting started with a healthy weight loss plan requires a lifestyle change, not a short-term diet. Focus on weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change. You must make a commitment to your health for the long run.
Support groups like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig are a great way to find like-minded individuals who share in your quest. While losing weight can seem miserable, we know misery loves company so surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Healthy weight loss is a marathon and not a sprint. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, anything more can take a toll on the mind and leave you sluggish and drained. Dropping anything more in such a short time is usually water or muscle. A few motivating factors might be those jeans you haven’t worn in a few months or years or knowing spring will be here faster then expected, so have that bikini or swim trunks close by for a visual aid. Lastly, a great tool at your fingertips is an online web journal in MyPlate from Livestrong. It’s free and even has an app for your smart phone. You can cross check calories in all your foods and log your meals and fitness to stay on track.
For a great post workout low-calorie meal check out Tender Greens near the Third Street Promenade. My favorite pairing is the baby spinach simple salad and rustic chicken soup. When combined they are less then 550 calories and very filling. For the early wake up call, check out Starbucks and their Greek yogurt with mango and passion fruit and green tea latte. Both are less then 380 calories when you use non-fat milk in the tea.
Thomas Roe has been an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer for more than 12 years and holds a degree in endurance nutrition. Learn more at http://nogymfitness.com or call (310) 666-3592.