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Healthy Weight Management Resolutions

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 2002) 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 effect.

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 do.

Created: 1/5/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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