The number one resolution each year is to lose weight. The internet is flooded with endless recommendations for diet and exercise. While not guaranteed, the recommendations below are safe, simple and easily implemented. And, it is a good way to start your day…give it a try!
- Weight Yourself – Step on the scale first thing in the morning for a more accurate reading. After a day of eating and drinking different amounts and types of foods with various activity and exercise levels, will alter the numbers. Inconsistencies can be frustrated.
- Hydrate – Drinking 1 – 2 glasses of water before breakfast can aid your cause. Water is calorie free and fills you up. It may also stimulate your metabolism to burn more calories.
- Work Out Early – A moderate duration and intensity of exercise before you eat breakfast can yield better results. Some studies show that fasting workouts rely less on food to burn for energy and more on body fat stores. Also, you are less likely to miss a workout due to other commitments if you do it first thing in the morning.
- High Protein for Breakfast – Protein will make you feel fuller. So enjoy a Greek yogurt smoothie with fruit and peanut butter or eggs and turkey sausage with whole wheat toast. Moreover, your body will use energy (calories) to breakdown the protein and less likely to store it as fat. Unfortunately, a delicious stack of pancakes will do the opposite…stored as fat.
- Plan for the Day – by making a meal plan for the day, you can choose to eat less calories and healthy foods. Once the day gets away from you and you’re too hungry to prepare healthy options, it is easy to grab a convenient but unhealthy and high calorie fast food. Pack grapes and apples for snacks at work or school and have dinner prepared the night or weekend before.
- Spend Time Outdoors – being outdoors is not only healthy for your mental wellbeing, but also your physical health (vitamin D etc). Some studies suggest that people who spend time in the morning sun tend to have a lower BMI, even compared to those who soak up the afternoon sun!
- Measure it! – Using a measure cup or spoon will allow for more accurate portion control. A half filled bowl of cereal in the morning, may actually be 1-2 cups.
- Be Mindful – Think before you put food in your mouth. Instead of eating while reading the paper or watching the morning news, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and taste your food. In between bites, take deep breaths and relax because this ritual can help you eat less and lose weight.
- Use Small Plates and Glasses – Smaller dinnerware will give the appearance of having a full plate with small portions. Also, standard drinking glasses are very large and when filled with orange juice it is very high in calories, so use a small juice glass.
- Don’t Make Your Coffee a Dessert – Specialty coffees with excessive sugar, cream, and flavored syrups can add more than 500 calories to your diet, which is 1/4 the entire daily caloric recommendation for women (2000 for women and 2500 for men). Use skim milk and sugar-free flavors or try green tea.
- Healthy Snacks – prepare and pack healthy snacks for work or travel. Fruit, veggies, low-fat cheese, and fiber rich crackers are some examples. Beware of granola bars high in sugar and calories pretending to be healthy!
- Limit Time Spent Sitting – Studies show a strong correlation with time spent sitting (commuting to work) and weight gain. Consider using a travel app to shorten commute times and park further from work to encourage walking.
- Make a List – Those who make a shopping list buy less junk food. So, make a list that includes healthy choices for dinner and snacks and stick to it!
- Hot Sauce – A recent study suggested that hot and spicy condiments on your foods may help with weight loss. Capsaicinoids, the hot chemical in chili peppers, can reduce body fat, suppress appetite and boost metabolism. So, spice up your breakfast with chili peppers and hot sauce on your omelet.
- Sleep it Off – getting adequate sleep and controlling excessive stress can have a positive impact on weight control. Those not getting enough sleep tend to be hungry, eat more and exercise less.
Source: WebMD, Mayo Clinic
Read Dr. Mackarey’s Health & Exercise Forum – Every Monday
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: email@example.com
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at GCSOM.
For all of Dr. Mackarey's articles visit: mackareyphysicaltherapy