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Have a Jolly Healthy Christmas

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Although my intention is to be helpful and provide useful simple break-downs to eating healthier and losing weight in a healthy way, it seems I ruffle more feathers whenever I write about weight loss and attempt to simplify things.

It seems many people who struggle with weight take issue with keeping it simple. Having spent a good portion of my life significantly overweight myself, I realize the amount of personal responsibility and accountability it takes It is very easy to discount a lot of the grazing type of eating that occurs frequently and to minimize the true amount of calories that we consume in the course of any given day.

Lets say I have a tendency to fail to recap that handful of peanuts I grabbed when my husband left them open on the counter just as I was walking through the kitchen before lunch. Or what if I totally forgot to consider the spoonfuls of dinner I “tasted” while I was preparing it?

As much as I hate to admit it, that could account for an addition 400 or 500 calories at the end of the day. If I multiply that by each day of the week (the likelihood of me doing it habitually is quite high) then that may add up to 3500 calories during the week that contribute to my gaining a pound while I am totally baffled at my weight gain.
So, while the calorie counting thing is a real pain in the excess flab department, it is entirely mathematical (unless I have some rare disorder that doctors haven’t determined).

If this sounds like gloom and doom, think again…because depending on the way I approach it psychologically, this can be the HOLY GRAIL to my losing weight without tons of stress and strain.

Since it is mathematical and since 3500 calories is the magic number of additional calories that equal a pound, it is also the magic number of fewer calories that equal a pound. If I can find a way to have 3500 fewer calories stick to my ribs during any given period of time, then that is 1 pound less that I weigh.

Here are a few very basic – but hopefully not too basic ideas and tips that can make this upcoming year’s weight-loss goals a reality.

• Avoid skipping any meals – even if you are in a hurry and can’t sit down to a complete meal, make sure you consume something with a good amount of sustaining protein. This will make sure you keep your energy up and will also help keep you from overeating later on because of being extra hungry.

• Get into the water-drinking habit – there are times when thirst masquerades as hunger. There are many positive benefits to drinking a lot of water. Weight loss gets a boost when we make drinking plenty of water a regular habit.

• Devote eating time to your food – although many of us develop the habit of eating while standing up or while working or watching TV, make it a habit to sit quietly and calmly at the table and take the 20-30 minutes to make your meal last and enjoy it.

• Journal your eating and exercise – it is much too easy to minimize or forget what we eat during the day. Journaling is one of the only ways to honestly account for what we are doing.

• Veggies are our friends– by filling half our plate with veggies (especially at dinner time) and avoiding coating them with dressings and unhealthy oils and fats, we will teach ourselves how to eat healthier and not feel hungry.

• Keep active – not only regarding exercise, but because many of us eat when we feel bored. By keeping busy and avoiding boredom, we can more easily avoid snacking because we think we are hungry.

• Re-invent your kitchen’s inventory – Emptying cupboards and refrigerators of unhealthy and unfriendly to weight-loss foods is a win-win situation. The tempting foods you want to avoid will be gone, making it easier for you to stick to your plan, and you can donate the excess bounty to an organization that will make sure those in need get the food, for an added feel-good benefit, especially this time of year.

Focusing more on all the benefits to eating better, it is easier to stick with it. Most people actually feel more energy with every few pounds lost, not to mention the emotional/psychological feel goods like endorphins from exercise and esteem from knowing we look better and are taking better care of ourselves.

There’s an week worth of eating between Christmas and New Years – why not get a jump start on your resolution and be on your way to a healthier 2014 before all the diet commercials start?

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