One night last week I got bored and started watching “Woodstock”, the documentary on the famous concert in the 60's. I was too young to go to Woodstock but it brought back a lot of memories of those years. One thing that struck me while I was watching it was that nobody in the film was fat or even overweight. So what happened in the last 40-some years? Displacing artists like Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, losing weight and keeping it off is now the national obsession.
Here are 3 time-tested tips that will help in your struggle to lose weight:
1. How much you weigh is a function of how many calories you take in versus how many you burn. Here’s the formula for a person with an average level of activity. First, decide what your ideal weight is. Multiply that number by 14 and that’s how many calories you can take in each day to maintain that weight. For example, if your ideal weight is 150 pounds the formula is 150 * 14 = 2100 calories.
2. Stress is a major cause of over-eating. When you feel the urge to eat, stop, take a deep breath and focus on relaxing until the urge goes away. Do some soul searching and ask yourself if you’re really hungry or are you just searching for a source of reassurance.
3. Write everything down. Even when you’re not on a diet or trying to lose weight keep a journal of what you eat all day. If you can see in black and white what your daily intake is it’s much easier to see where you’re going off the rails. If you’re at a plateau where you’re not losing weight or you are losing but at a slower rate than you should, you can look at your daily journal and see where you can make changes. People often tend to conveniently forget about the little snacks during the day that creep in between meals. Eating the leftovers from yesterday, helping your spouse with the meal they couldn’t finish or just killing the rest of the chips can add up to serious calories and torpedo your diet for the day. If you write everything down you’re not only keeping a calorie count but you’re also keeping yourself honest about what you’re eating.
Gaining all that weight didn’t happen in a short time so it’s unrealistic to think you can get rid of it in a short time either. There is no more reliable way to lose weight than by portion control and exercise. Stick with it and you’ll succeed. Remember, once you lose the weight the battle is just beginning. Stay with your new healthy lifestyle and you’ll keep the weight off too.