More than half of Americans who make New Years' Resolutions
want to lose weight. This year when planning your weight loss strategy, focus
on small, easy goals; they do make a difference. For example, if you are overweight
and you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, you don't need to get back
to your ideal body weight to see improvement: small changes can have a big
impact on quality of life as well as risk factor reduction. Losing just 10%
of your body weight can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol. Data from
the Nurses Health Study (published in JAMA last year) show that a weight loss
of only five pounds in overweight women can make handling everyday activities
easier, and reduce aches and pains. Gaining as little as 5 pounds has the reverse
If you need to lose weight, you know it and your body knows
it. But this year, forget the resolution to lose 15 pounds. Instead, try specific
resolutions which will help you lose weight without focusing on "losing". For
example, try "I will eat 5 servings of fruits and veggie per day" or "I will
start each day with a healthy breakfast sitting down". No, coffee and a doughnut
in the car doesn't count. You don't need a four-course meal, but you should
have 4 food groups, and protein should be one of them.
Drinking more water can also help; most Americans are not
drinking enough water daily. Do you really need 8 glasses per day? At least.
Add an additional 8 ounces for every 20 minutes of aerobic exercise that you
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Created: 1/4/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.