January 15, 2010

Make Weight Control Second Nature, Learn to Live Naturally Thin

Making Weight Control Second NatureYes, we’re once again in depths of the post holiday New Year's resolution ritural. And yes, the most common resolution is: lose those unwanted pounds – again or still. But, think - are you really ready to lose weight and do the daily work to keep off those unwanted pounds? This is important because more evidence is showing that yo-yo dieting takes it's toll on your metabolism and just makes the job tougher every time.

Reality is these excess pounds, 20, 40 or more, haven’t likely accumulated just from extreme holiday eating. No, they’ve been packed on from years of a few hundred extra calories day in and day out. Are they from a bit too much butter, oil, cream, salad dressing and other fats; chocolate, cookies, cake and other sweets; regularly sweetened carbonated drinks, fancied up coffees or teas, too many glasses of wine or beer, or...?

Ready to get help to shed a few pounds…and most importantly keep them off permanently? And this isn’t about quick fixes and magic potions. It’s about a sensible and valuable new book, Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally, written by Susan Burke March, a dietitian colleague. Susan, whose weight yo-yoed up and down the scale over many years. She has now kept off 40 pounds for over 25 years is also a nationally respected dietitian and diabetes educator. In her book Susan shares her personal weight transformation process and her expertise as a dietitian. Susan has also sought the personal weight management trials, tribulations and tips from her health professional colleagues - mine included (see below).

Is there a lot of brand new content about the how to’s of losing weight and keeping it off? Naturally not! But what Susan focuses on – and we don’t hear enough about in best-selling diet books - is the downright hard work of keeping those lost pounds at bay. YES, it takes hard work every day and lots of saying NO! On a positive note, we’ve also learned that shedding just 5 – 10% of your weight (~10 to 20 pounds) can help you lower blood pressure, blood glucose, improve your blood lipids (cholesterol), sleep and more…as well as steal far fewer dollars from your bank account for medications.

My New Year's wish for you this year is that this is the last year that shedding pounds is on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally is a book you’ll want to thumb through and then keep close by. Refer to it often for frequent assists in your efforts to succeed at permanent weight control. Thanks, Susan!

All Day, Every Day
(my story from Making Weight Control Second Nature)

At just under 5 feet my response to someone who assumes that I’m ‘naturally thin’ is, I’m careful about my weight—only all of the time and every day. I believe I’ve been able to maintain my around 100 pounds for all of my adult years, other than one pregnancy, because I do practice what I preach.

But, I’m by no means perfect. I enjoy sweets, a few times a week – albeit in small portions. I may have a half-cup of my favorite, super-premium ice cream or a piece of chocolate or share a great dessert. I don’t waste calories on sweets, or any foods for that matter, that aren’t worth it. I don’t have enough calories to spare on less-than-excellent tasty foods!

I eat three to four restaurant meals each week, but I rarely cast caution to the wind. I practice portion control to the max – splitting and sharing entrees, ordering appetizers as main courses, splitting desserts and even asking for a half glass of wine, on occasion. My husband and I enjoy going to great restaurants. We split menu items from appetizer to dessert – right down the middle. Lots of great tastes and just about the right amount of food. Otherwise I cook dinner most nights of the week – pretty much from scratch. It’s in my value system to provide my husband and young teenager with healthy meals. I want my daughter to grow up learning how to cook and how to eat healthy. Yes, I’m always modeling through actions!

The other half of the equation is being physically active. I believe at my size and getting older by the day, being physically active is my only fighting chance to keep my weight where I want it and be able to eat more than a small amount of food. My husband and I are out four to five mornings a week, including chilly winter and hot summer mornings, at 6:30 a.m., walking about two miles. I hit the gym about two early mornings per week for additional aerobic work, stretching and weight training.

I well recognize that as I age, to keep my weight where I want it I need to continue to keep up my routine, and perhaps escalate it. What keeps me going? Knowing that I feel better everyday. Plus the hope of staying and being healthy for years to come.