Another new year is upon us and it’s time to stop making excuses and start losing weight. As a healthcare practitioner who specializes in weight loss, I hear the same excuses time after time. Either patients can’t find the time to concentrate on losing weight or it’s not the right time to start losing weight (due to a special occasion or holiday). Losing weight is not an easy task. If it were, we would not be dealing with a nationwide obesity epidemic. But it’s important to realize that living a healthier, well balanced lifestyle is within your reach. Start with small, simple changes so it doesn’t feel like you are giving up everything you enjoy. It’s time to accept the challenge and decide to make real everyday changes to begin to lose weight and keep it off.
I understand that your schedule is hectic. Between working, running errands, taking care of the kids, going to school, cooking, and spending time with family and friends, it’s obvious that your time is limited. As Americans we are constantly over extending ourselves and getting into situations where we feel stressed and overwhelmed. However, this is no reason to sacrifice your own health and well-being. If anything, you should be more motivated to take care of yourself with diet and exercise, to make sure you are available to meet the demands of your busy lifestyle.
Your health and well-being need to start being a priority in your everyday life. Regardless of how busy you are, you still need to eat – however you need to begin to make smarter choices. Focusing on appropriate portion sizes can be the perfect place to start. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and before meals to help curb your appetite. Pack a lunch or healthy snack instead of “driving thru” at a fast food restaurant. These simple changes don’t take time out of your busy schedule and allow you to work toward becoming a healthier you. So move them to the top of your “to do” list and start making the time for diet and exercise. I can’t tell you how many times I hear “I really want to lose weight, but I’ll start after the holidays” or “after my birthday” or “tomorrow.” Procrastination is your worst enemy. If you know you have a big event coming up and you know that you will be indulging in extra food and alcohol, then the sooner you take control of your eating and start making healthier choices about exercise the better. Not only will you be looking and feeling better for your event, but you will have much less guilt and remorse afterward.
Start getting active. It is important that you find at least 20-30 minutes every day for some kind of physical activity. Whether you go to the gym, take a walk, practice yoga, or participate in sports, exercise is essential for weight loss and healthy weight management. Any activity is good enough as long as it is sustained and consistent throughout the week. There is no time like the present to begin. Make yourself a promise to start dieting and exercising today! You deserve it.