Losing the First Five Pounds
At the start of this year, I took on my own “re-fitness” journey. No matter your fitness level or expertise, it’s always struggle! We know what we need to do to lose that first 5 pounds of weight when starting a wellness program:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. 5-6 servings per day, minimum.
- Exercise regularly!
- Drink more water. 8 glasses per day, minimum.
Weight loss happens when all three of these goals are met, and consistent weight loss happens when we commit these habits to our lifestyle!
While the guidelines are clear-cut, it can be difficult to come up with a plan. The internet is so full of information that finding a place to start becomes the hardest part. Get creative by choosing recipes and activities that appeal to you. Search for healthy twists on some of your favorite recipes. I recently tried this curry recipe from Allrecipes, which uses chick peas as its main form of protein. Other excellent online resources are Cooking Light and Zipongo. Be sure to choose recipes that include at least a full serving of fruit and/or vegetables, and keep the proper portion sizes in mind!
Multiple exercise sessions a week is the next component to consistent weight loss. If you choose an activity that you are not interested in, it will become a chore instead of a way of life. Consider your own time and interest so you will have more fun and be more likely to stay committed. Do an activity that will bring you joy as you break a sweat- a long walk, gardening, or join in with your kids at the playground. Playing tennis is my personal favorite, and I also make time for swimming, yoga and running.
Finally, water. We all know that water aids in weight loss and that we need at least 8 glasses of water per day. However, newer scientific research tells us that the bigger the human, the more water they require. For example, a 150 lb. person needs up to 150 ounces of water per day. Studies also tell us that the more water we consume, the more energy we have for daily activities. Carrying an attractive refillable water bottle can remind you to keep drinking throughout the day.
Eating healthy, getting enough exercise, and staying hydrated does not have to be a challenge. Remember that the greatest project you can work on is you. No fitness journey is too big or too small because lifestyle changes never ends. All the best!
1. Akers, J.D., Cornett R.A. et al. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2012). Daily self-monitoring of body weight, step count, fruit/vegetable intake, and water consumption: A feasible and effective long-term weight loss maintenance approach. Vol. (112) Issue 5, pages 685-692.e2