Weight Loss in the New Year

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Have you made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight but are not sure how to implement it? Losing weight can be enjoyable and rewarding if you include activities and foods that you like in your exercise and diet regimen.

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One of the best ways to succeed in losing weight is to set realistic goals. Dieticians and doctors recommend a goal of two to three pounds a week to be sure to lose safely and keep it off. Although there are many gimmicky diets in the news that promise quick weight loss, the best way to lose and stay at your target weight is to reduce caloric intake and include more exercise to burn more calories. If you tweak your diet a bit to reduce caloric intake, you are on your way to achievable and sustainable weight loss.

Keeping a food diary that lists everything you eat for a few days can help pinpoint problem areas like eating when you’re bored or eating high-calorie snacks. Simple changes can eliminate high-calorie foods while satisfying the urge to munch. Instead of chips, why not try salted carrot or celery sticks? Eating breakfast is also important because it provides the energy needed to start the day. Without breakfast, hunger often strikes before lunch with the temptation to fill up on foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition.

Many people envision an exercise regimen as long hours in the gym. Going to the gym can be boring or difficult to work into a busy schedule. Burning 500 more calories a day without reducing food intake can result in a loss of up to two pounds a week. There are easy ways to burn calories that can be integrated into your daily routine. Do you automatically get into the lift instead of walking up a flight of stairs to your office? Climbing one flight of 12 stairs three times a day burns 15 calories and strengthens leg muscles. Walk more by parking your car further away from your office or getting down from the bus a few blocks before your normal stop.

Including exercise as part of recreation and leisure makes it more fun. Hiking, swimming or cycling are just a few ways to get outdoors, breathe fresh air and exercise. Including family or friends in the activity makes it even more enjoyable. A brisk 30-minute walk in a park or around the neighborhood not only burns up to 200 calories but keeps bones strong and can improve mental well-being.

Some people include physical activity as part of their holidays. Many organized tours include hiking, cycling or boating as part of a package.  If you want to start your new year off with an exciting challenge, consider a tour cycling through the Vietnamese countryside or snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands to experience the unique marine life. There are a range of options when it comes to losing weight and sticking to your goals, and thankfully with a few handy tricks, it doesn’t require hours in the gym.

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