Monday, February 7, 2011

The Keys to Weight Loss

Many of us made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight but aren’t sure how to accomplish our goals. A proper combination of good nutrition, exercise, and a little patience will help you reach and maintain your goal weight.

The solution is simple; you need to burn more calories than you take in. The body can live in three different energy states. Neutral energy state is where the amount of energy (food) going in equals the energy going out through activity. Positive energy balance is where more is being taken in that being expended. Negative balance is what one needs if the body wants to see change.

To begin, you need to move more each day. Through increased energy expenditures during the day such as parking further from the storefront, using the restroom on another floor of their office building, or walking the stairs on their coffee break instead of drinking coffee will be helpful. Add in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

There are three components of a proper exercise program. First is aerobic exercise such as dancing, walking, or biking. This helps to increase energy expenditure. Second is strength training as simple as push-ups, wall sits, and leg lifts, and crunches are also key. This increases muscle mass, which will raise the number ofs calories the body burns even at a resting state. The third component is stretching which will maintain the body’s flexibility; reduce stress and scar tissue from injuries.

The next step is to begin a food journal. Studies show that keeping records of what you eat, everything you eat in a given day, will give a much higher success rate. Adding an extra 100 calories per day can add 10lbs in one year! That is one fun sized candy bar, 4 Hershey kisses, or the taste testing while preparing meals. Record keeping is not only for accountability but also to see what drives the body towards certain behaviors. By listening to the stomach, not the clock or mind telling one to eat, people can use their nutrition for a proper fuel source rather than comfort.

Lastly, diets do not work. If they did, people would not still be spending over 40 million dollars in the industry. It insinuates a beginning and an end. The key to effective and permanent weight loss is behavior modification. It can be done with proper knowledge, consistency and discipline.. The turning point to success is to learn behavior modification in both energy expenditure and proper nutrition to have lifelong results.

Article written by Nona Kleinberg, Personal Trainer and Nutritional Counselor