We are approaching that time of year. New Year’s resolutions are coming. Many of us will commit to exercise and calorie restriction – the dreaded “diet”. Some of us could stand to lose a little or even a lot of weight but instead of jumping on the diet and exercise wagon with the only goal being weight loss, I propose that we be motivated by things that are life changing, not just scale changing.
Commit yourself to changes that are realistic. These changes should be able to be maintained for a lifetime under normal living conditions. A diet can generally only be maintained for short periods of time because they are restrictive and complicated. We are too busy in our lives to maintain high maintenance eating and exercise. Your health plan should easily fit into your life – not the other way around. Besides, we all need an occasional restaurant cheeseburger and if your exercise program is too strenuous, you run the risk of injury which could potentially end your ability to get and stay physically fit. Think long term – in order to succeed, you must be able to maintain this calorie and exercise level for life.
Some of the long-term benefits to a healthier lifestyle are:
>More energy to enjoy your life and your loved ones.
>More energy to exercise again.
>When you start looking better – you will start feeling better about yourself. This will motivate you to stay on course.
>Better overall health. You will notice a stronger immune system once you start getting some of the extra pounds off. You will also see your blood, urine and liver numbers improve over the long term.
>Less joint pain. I recently read that every 4 pounds of extra weight acts like 20 pounds of extra weight on our joints.
>Eventually, your physician may be able to take you off of some medications.
>You will be more confident which allows you to reach out and love other people.
>There will be a dramatic reduction of the risk of serious disease such as hormonal imbalances, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Many in the health industry believe that inflammation is the root of disease. Excess weight is known to cause inflammation in the body.
Yes, you will have to exercise but you might grow to appreciate it or even love it. Yes, you will probably have to cut down on the amount of food or drink that you consume but most of us consume way more than our bodies actually need. The payoffs are the feeling of accomplishment, more confidence, higher energy levels and better health.