Moving Towards Your Healthy Weight

Despite being a nation obsessed with thinness, conveniences provided by technologic advances have fostered a sitting society. Computers, cellular telephones, etc. have increased the amount of productive thinking, but have drastically decreased the amount of human movement necessary to get through a day. In addition, the inconvenience necessary in obtaining an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in comparison to the ease of obtaining the highly marketed high-calorie processed-foods, makes the former seem not as tasty.

To lose weight, the amount of energy taken in must be less than the amount of energy expended. Research shows that losing weight is not as difficult as sustaining weight loss. Keeping weight off requires permanent change to physical activity practices and the amount of food eaten. Simply maintaining a lifestyle

of avoiding excess intake and having adequate physical activity is the real challenge. The focus should not be on dieting, but on identifying a step-wise path that generates long-lasting sound nutritional and exercise practices.

Research shows that there is a higher chance of success in maintaining weight loss if the initial weight-loss goal is only 7-10 % of your weight in the first 6 months. It is also recommended that this initial weight loss should be maintained for another 6 months before attempting to lose more. An optimal rate of weight-loss is considered to be a ½-pound per week. It takes a deficit of 250 calories per day (eliminating the equivalent of 2.5 tbsp. of butter, or taking a 45-minute brisk walk) to lose a ½-pound per week.

It takes time to change behavior and it can be a complex process. Success is more likely to be achieved if the goals are small and attainable. For example, if you exercised once last week, then your goal should be to exercise two times per week for the next two weeks.

We live in a time where there is no lack of recourses. Use the internet, your doctor, your trainer, your nutritionist, your physical therapist to identify healthful, sound attainable goals that you can and will achieve. This will feed and fan the fire of your success.

Anna Kotula, DPT