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A Message from Dr. Stephen Kindred – Assistant Vice President, Corporate Medical
With the turn of a new year, many people are looking forward to a fresh start and pledging to improve their health. Losing weight is a common resolution many of my patients make. After splurging on food over the holidays, they are ready to start over and lose the weight they put on the previous year.
According to the American Dietetic Association, it’s not just about how much and what you eat, but also how often you eat. The key is to eat small balanced meals throughout the day. In other words, it’s okay to “graze” throughout the day if done appropriately. Each meal should be well portioned, low in fat, high in fiber, contain as many food groups a possible and range from 100-400 calories. By eating small frequent meals, you will boost your metabolism and burn calories more efficiently. You are also less likely to overeat and will have more energy to help keep you active throughout the day.
Although New Year’s resolutions are made with good intentions, they are often derailed within a few weeks. If you experience set backs or slip up, start over the next day and keep moving forward. Here are some tips I share with my patients to help them stay on track with their wellness and weight loss goals:
- Set realistic goals – You have to be able to achieve them in order to succeed.
- Get your head in the game – It is fifty percent attitude!
- Step up incidental activity – Increase your number of steps and stairs.
- Lose liquid calories – Say goodbye to sweetened soda, coffee, tea and fruit juices.
- Start with a veggie – Vegetables are loaded with fiber andwater, so they fill you up fast and can decrease consumed calories by 20 percent.
- Eat slooooooower – Research indicates you eat around 60 fewer calories when you just slow down.
- Close the kitchen after dinner – Find something else to do to fill your time at night, such as light exercise or reading a book.
A New Life Resolution
Betsy, Communications Staff Assistant in Human Resources at Corporate, was tired of avoiding social activities in fear of people judging her for gaining weight over the years. “After looking in the mirror and feeling terrible about myself one too many times, I decided to make a resolution to change my life,” Betsy explained.
Being a competitive person, Betsy started a challenge (similar to the “Biggest Loser”) in her community. She knew there had to be other people feeling the same way and wanted to make a difference in their lives too. After setting up the challenge, 41 people signed up for the 34-week weight loss program. The program consisted of a weekly weigh-in, a challenge and group exercise sessions to hold participants accountable. The group enlisted the help of four trainers who coached the contestants.
The challenge is now complete and Betsy is proud to report she lost 70 pounds! While she was not the “biggest loser,” she feels great and is happy there were 28 others who flocked around her and completed the challenge.
This weight loss journey has given Betsy a new outlook on life. “When I walk through the halls at State Farm, people are shocked when they see me and offer words of encouragement and compliments. It is such a great feeling to have confidence again,” Betsy said. “If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, I encourage you to set small, realistic goals for yourself so you don’t lose motivation. Take it one step at a time and before you know it, you will achieve it!”
When setting a goal for yourself, make it one you can be proud of too! If weight loss is your resolution this year, remember to eat smart, eat light and eat often. It’s your health – let 2011 be the year you take control!
Get the year started right, by participating in the online seminar “S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Better Health” on SFLiveWell.com.
If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, the Quit For Life® program is available to help you.
If your goal is to assess your overall health and you are enrolled in the Group Medical PPO Plan, be sure to take advantage of the unlimited adult Preventive Care Benefit.
Let the American Dietetic Association help you lose weight the right way.
The American Heart Association also has tips to help you manage your weight loss goals.
Take it from the American Lung Association, it is your time to quit.
The American Cancer Society recommends getting active if you want to stay healthy.