You’ve decided to start living healthier, that’s great! So, now what? What do you do? Do you do radical changes, tossing out all your food, buying instead tofu and quinoa? Get up before dawn, run ten miles before the kids get up for school? Join a gym and start wildly lifting the barbels, because you’ve seen those guys on tv? Or maybe start those exercise dvd’s from the overly built gymrats screaming at you to rush from one exercise to another?
Only if you want to hurt yourself and make your friends and family hate you. Congratulations on wanting to start living a healthier life! That is fantastic. Last week we talked about setting realistic goals and BMI. This week, we’ll chat about what is a healthy goal and how to start living it. Start by making small changes to your diet, as I state in my cookbook, Simple, Healthy, Fresh 1.0.
What I would recommend, is either toss out or donate all the processed foods in your cupboards and stop buying them. Read labels and avoid foods made from sugars (any ingredient that has -ose on the end: glucose, sucrose, fructose, inc. corn syrup, etc) white flour (wheat flour is mostly white flour with a little whole wheat thrown in for color) and salt (in all it’s forms: foods have enough naturally occurring sodium to more than make up your daily nutritional needs). This is the start of your low-carb, low-fat and low-sodium lifestyle!
The recommended weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, as described by Dr. Donald Hensrud, MD of the Mayo Clinic:
A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is the typical recommendation. Although that may seem like a slow pace for weight loss, it’s more likely to help you maintain your weight loss for the long term. Remember that 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat contains 3,500 calories. So to lose 1 pound a week, you need to burn 500 more calories than you eat each day (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
Start by low-impact exercise, such as walking, gardening, golf that will rev up your metabolism slowly and safely. Take note of your body and what it is telling you. You’ll know what level of fitness you are at. Join a local gym some will give you a few free sessions with a certified trainer, who will show you what exercises are safe for your level of fitness. No one likes going to the gym alone and it takes great courage. Listen to music or take a book with you while you wile away the time on a treadmill or exercycle.
Above all, keep healthy!