Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Lose Those Holiday Pounds

By Kristin Champagne, Health and Fitness Director, Middlesex YMCA

Set a realistic goal. Take stock of where you are without beating yourself up. Negative self talk will only make it harder to get back on track.

You did not put the weight on over night (even if it felt that way). It probably took two months. If it took two months to put it on, give yourself two months to take it off. Quick weight loss is not healthy weight loss, and it is also not permanent weight loss, and it takes a permanent toll on you metabolism. Every time you go on a crash diet, about half the weight you lose will be muscle mass, and for every pound of muscle you lose, you metabolism takes a hit. In other words, the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn.

It takes 30 days to build a habit, so try to be consistent. Come up with a plan that is realistic for your lifestyle and schedule. If you plan to workout three days a week, and make it four, you have exceeded your goal. If you plan for seven and make it four, chances are you will feel bad. So keep your goals attainable.

Be patient with yourself, if you fall off your plan, don’t beat yourself up, just get right back on. Don’t be a slave to the scale. Use another measure. How do you clothes fit? Take a waist measurement every couple of weeks.

Lose it the right way! 1% of your body weight per week, so if you 150 pounds, that 1 ½ pounds per week. To lose a pound a week, you need to burn an extra 500 calories a day, or restrict you diet by 500 calories a day, or a combination of 250 calories burned and 250 calories restricted. The combination will feel less extreme.

Calorie Burning Ideas ~

  • An hour of spinning can burn up to 600 calories.
  • An hour of running or swimming will do the same.
  • An hour of Zumba or Kickboxing will burn up to 500.
  • An hour of walking can burn up to 300 calories.

You can burn between 200- 400 calories in Pilates, Sculpting or Yoga, depending on the length of the class, but remember, these classes build muscle, and muscle will rev up you resting metabolism. This means you burn more calories just sitting around!

Not a class person? Hit the weight room, for a calorie burn, and metabolic boost. The Fitness Staff is there to help you! Make an appointment for a free Fitness Consultation if you a beginner.

Healthy Dietary Changes ~

  • Drink more water.
  • Eat more fiber (try to switch white breads and pastas for whole grain varieties)

Fruits and veggies, eat up! (at 25 calories per serving of vegetables, and about 60 calories per serving of fruit, they are a low cal, nutritious alternative to most other snacks).

  • Eat more frequently, but keep potion sizes small, it will help keep your metabolism high, and keep you from getting too hungry.
  • Eat some protein to help maintain muscle mass. Lean proteins such as fish, turkey breast, or chicken breast or vegetable proteins, like soy or Tempe are best. Nuts are good too; just watch your portion size.
  • Don’t skip breakfast! It is truly the most important meal of the day, it gets your metabolism going!

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