Dear Dr. Terri K: Any suggestions for someone who has been challenged with their weight for a large portion of their life? I have tried exercising for the last twenty years of my life, but somehow I am still challenged. – SANDRA, New York
Sandra: First, congratulations on having the desire to change! Here are some basic guidelines to get you started:
Don’t diet; commit to a lifestyle change. Make small changes that you can continue. Focus on whole foods; minimize processed foods. The goal is to change your relationship with food so that you are “eating for life.”
For greatest impact, combine exercise with changes in diet. Begin a mild exercise program to jumpstart your progress and confidence. Then, increase your exercise gradually. Also, add more movement to your routine activity, e.g. use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Create a healthy food environment. Shop from a list. Don’t buy food that does not serve your body. Store tempting foods (from others in the family) out of sight.
Watch portions. Use smaller plates, and don’t take seconds. Remember: a serving of protein should fit in the palm of your hand; a serving of pasta, rice, or potatoes should be the size of a fist; a serving of raw or cooked vegetables should be the size of a tennis ball.
Don’t eat two or three hours before going to bed. If you must have a bedtime snack, eat a tryptophan-containing food such as a banana, or a low-fat carbohydrate-rich snack like dry cereal.
Make water your drink of choice. Drink a minimum of eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Water can help control your appetite and works as a cleansing agent for your body.
Take it step-by-step. Set reasonable goals. Think about your progress, not your shortcomings.
It all starts with the Power of Choice. Today, make the choice to commit to life. You can make it happen. Start Power Living® Today!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.
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