The following information has been provided by Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N at Memorial Hospital.
Weight loss is a journey, not a quick fix, which will take determination, motivation and perseverance. With one third of adults (33.8%) in the United States considered to be obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control; and healthcare costs and health complications from obesity on the rise; weight loss is one of the most important journeys of your life. Think about how long have you been wishing and half-heartedly trying to lose weight? Wishing you could look good in those jeans, or without your shirt at the beach? Whether you have been heavy your whole life or your weight gain snuck up on you after high school with the freshman 15 that became 40 or 50; now is the time to make a change, because you don't have to be overweight or obese forever. Truth is YOU can lose weight!
First things first, set your weight loss goals. Consider how much weight you need to lose. What weight would put in the normal range for BMI? Have you ever been at a weight at a weight you were comfortable? Set this as your long term goal. Now, move to your short term goals. These short term goals are stepping stones that will help you to reach your long term goal. Your goal may be to lose 20 pounds during by December, to go down one pant size, to be able to paint your toe nails, or be able to run a mile. What ever they are, make sure your goals are realistic! As you achieve your short term goals; reward yourself with something non-food related. Your reward could be a weekend trip or a new pair of jeans. Achieving your short term goals along your weight loss journey will act as a motivator to keep you on track to reach your long term goals.
Next, eliminate the excuses. Excuses never helped you reach your goals in the past, so ditch them! You are not going on a diet; but rather starting a weight loss journey and changing your lifestyle. That means you don't have to eat "diet" foods, to be successful, you can eat regular foods but change how often you eat, portion sizes, and types of foods you choose. The excuse that "diets never work for me" won't fly because it's not a diet but a lifestyle change! If you think you aren't a good enough cook, it just means you need to branch out; cooking is an art and baking is a science. Look for simple recipes that include foods you like. Stop waiting for the perfect time to make a lifestyle change, because you will be waiting forever. No time is perfect, so just start now and deal with the tough stuff when it comes up. You can tackle that Super Bowl party or best friends wedding when you get there. Don't get caught up in the confusion of different fad diets and seemingly conflicting research studies. Just stick to the basics. It has been proven over and over again that burning more calories than you take in, combining both diet and exercise, and eating a variety of foods will help you lose weight.
Lastly, dive in and make the commitment. Only you have control over what you eat and how much you exercise, so make a change today. Access to the tools you need to get started is available to you on the Kick it Up First Coast Student Edition facebook page and on the First Coast News website. You can follow the same meal plan, which consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks daily that the contestants will use for this season's Kick it Up first Coast Students Edition. During the competition, the women will follow the 1,400 calorie plan and the men will follow the 1,800 calorie plan, so check it out to find nutrition guidelines and recipes. Also, don't forget to join the Kick it Up First Coast home team for encouragement, tips and accountability. Make a change and start your weight loss journey today.
The preceeding information has been provided by Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N at Memorial Hospital.