The new year brings about many resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight and be more physically active.

Part One of this article gave some useful tips to get you started on your journey to better health and wellness, and below are additional suggestions to be successful.

Exercise! Exercise regularly with an activity you enjoy. In order to burn more calories and lose weight, you need to exercise; this increases your metabolism so even when you are at rest, you can burn calories.

For exercise to help with weight loss, regular aerobic physically activity such as walking, biking and swimming combined with resistance training such as weight lifting works best.

If you are beginning, begin with at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. Ideally, you should strive to workout 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week.

Enlist support! Finding a support system is critical to long-term weight management. Whether you join a designated support group, work with a dietitian or seek religious or spiritual guidance, it is extremely helpful to share highs and lows with experts or others who can relate. These people can also be a source of new ideas a strategies-and can reassure you! Studies show a multifaceted approach to weight loss increases results as opposed to embarking on the journey alone.

Eat slowly! Typically the time required for your brain to realize it is full is 20 minutes. This means the amount of calories consumed before you begin to feel full can vary a great deal depending on how quickly you eat. Eat slowly, savor your food and enjoy. Incorporate a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.

Steer clear of fad diets! Often these diets promise to help you lose a lot of weight quickly and effortlessly; most cut certain foods out of your diet to assist in weight loss and are not scientifically based. People can follow fad diets for a short period of time, but rarely for the long term — most end up craving the very foods the diet restricts and fall off the “fad diet” plan.

Quick fixes are not the answer; instead, focus on making lifestyle changes you can maintain.

No more negative self-talk! Avoid negative thoughts and statements such as “I will never be able to lose weight” or “I can’t do this.” Be positive! Affirm you can change your lifestyle and devise a plan with realistic and specific goals. As you accomplish each “small” goal, realize it is an integral part of the big picture.

Detach from emotional eating! Make a goal to cope with stress or other negative emotions other ways, besides eating. Food will not solve the problem and typically contributes to the negative emotions through guilt, low-self-esteem and thoughts of failure. Get to the root of the problem and face the situation head on, if possible.

Use your support system as a source of encouragement and discover other outlets for stress.

Food is meant for physical nourishment, not for emotional comfort, reward or punishment.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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