The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Friday, December 29, 2006

'Tis the season

... for dieting! That's right; ask people to name one of their New Year's resolutions, and one of the most popular answers will be "lose weight." It's an American tradition: we make gluttons of ourselves throughout November and December and "repent in sackcloth and ashes" during January (if we even manage stick to our resolution through the whole month).

I for one do not make resolutions for the New Year. When I was somewhere between the ages of 10-14, I tried making resolutions, but I never stuck to them. To me, resolutions feel too much like a diet, something else I never do. If you are like me, anytime you apply the words "diet," "resolution," or "budget" to yourself, you immediately rebel and devour everything in sight, smashing those resolutions and breaking the bank at the same time! Despite not going on a diet or making resolutions or having a budget, I have lost 20 lbs. over the past 4 years, have accomplished things that I would have made a resolution to do if I made resolutions, and seldom use a credit card but pay it off in full when I receive a statement showing a balance. For me, it's all about mind games. I tell myself that I can eat whatever I want. When I have that permission, I'm not attracted to food. I set "goals" for myself; a goal is a journey and doesn't make me feel compelled to succeed perfectly immediately. Mr. Incredible and I have a Spending Plan and a Freedom Account - very different from a budget psychologically!

But what if you really do need to lose that excess poundage NOW? So many people opt for the "easy" road: they starve themselves or purchase diet pills advertised as a hunger inhibitor or a metabolism booster. Starving oneself is actually counter-productive. A body in starvation mode will slow down its metabolism so it can hoard the fat it thinks it needs to survive. That is why you can eat less and still end up getting bigger. I am leery of supplements and diet pills. They mess with your body and often give quick results that simply don't last. Instead, I prefer the old-fashioned route of eating properly and getting regular exercise.

If you want to lose fat and weight, you need to get your metabolism going. The best way to do this starts with a fairly simple step: NEVER skip breakfast! That is your metabolism starter after your hours-long fast during the night. Breakfast need not be big, but do eat. Eat a SMALL and healthy morning snack. Eating junk is also counter-productive. If possible, make lunch your largest meal of the day because your metabolism should be in full swing during that time. Have a small afternoon snack. Eat a light supper. Soup and sandwiches is a good example of a light supper. Avoid eating after 6 p.m. if at all possible. Eating late means your body probably will not have time to fully digest a large meal before you retire for the night. Attempt to achieve sustained movement for at least 15 minutes a day. You don't have to "work out." Just get moving!

No, I don't do all those things all the time, but if I did, I would be losing weight faster. The little I do does make a difference. I have three children and have lost a little more weight after each child was born; I think that is due to the fact that I have more to do with each child I have. And, yes, I do realize there can be medical conditions that inhibit weight loss. If you are having trouble losing weight, consult a doctor. In fact, your doctor is a great resource anytime you are thinking about losing weight. Repeat after me: "My doctor is my friend!" Just not my wallet's friend. (grin)

photo courtesy of fotosearch.com

6 comments:

The New Parent said...

Some nice tips. I don't generally make resolutions, but I do keep in mind things I want to change or continue working on. I tend toward the sensibility of moderation. This way I have what I may want, but in moderation.

Do you tend to exercise? Often?

Revka said...

I'm glad you liked the tips. I need to do a better job of following them myself. I actually enjoy exercising to VHS tapes or DVD's, but getting into a routine is the kicker for me. Once I get into the swing of things, I generally exercise 5x a week for 30-60 minutes per day. Right now, I am not at ALL "in the routine," and my exercise consists of housework and chasing the girls around. :)

The New Parent said...

Well, I've actually read that doing housework can be decent exercise. And, if you have stairs in your home, that makes it even better. I think for many of us, it's difficult to sustain an exercise regimen over a long period of time. Sometimes I think lifting a child as often as a parent has to, is alot of exercise (laugh).

Revka said...

I believe it! I sure can "glow" (remember, ladies don't perspire) after scrubbling toilets or floors. :) And the kids definitely get me moving, especially when they coerce me into swinging them around and around. My oldest one weighs about 42 lbs, the middle girl is about 35 lbs, and the baby is 22 lbs. Tell me that's not a workout. (wry grin)

The New Parent said...

At times when lifting my daughter in and out of the car, I would think this is a workout in itself. Then there's all the accoutrements that go along with having a child that a parent lifts and--voila!--a daily weight lifting routine (laugh).

Well, it sure does seem that Blogger central doesn't want their bloggers to comment (after two tries).
... after 3 tries.

Revka said...

I've always been a homebody, but with 3 kids in car seats, I really dread going anywhere and try to do all my errands in one day. The worst time was the day the girls and I were gone for 9 hours because I had 10 places to go. Talk about a nightmare! Everyone including me was tired, hungry, and cranky when we got home.