Well it’s Monday morning here, January 2nd. The Christmas and New Year’s parties are officially over, and just for the record, I enjoyed every minute of them….. including the savory foods and snacks that accompany the season. I knew it would be too hard to resist so I didn’t even try. But now it’s time to get back to reality.
Reality for me this year is getting to work on the task of getting rid of the extra weight I mentioned a few weeks ago that has taken up residence where it doesn’t belong on my person. And because of it, my clothes don’t fit right, I don’t feel good about myself and the long term health risks demand a change, for myself and for my family. Why am I writing about it here in this nice little “Seniors’ Column”? Because I suspect I’m not alone and if I can encourage a few of you to join me it will be well worth it. After all, these kinds of challenges seem to go better if you have company.
The other reason I’m going public with this is that I’ve never been successful before in dieting and I think this commitment will help me follow through. Also, my motivation is stronger now than ever because I’m 10 lbs heavier than I ever remember being.
So, what kind of diet do I plan to use to make this weight disappear? My Army Medic son, who is a real health aficionado, says that “The best diet is one that you can live with long term”; in other words a lifestyle change that you can happily live with. That makes sense to me so that’s going to be my long term philosophy going forward. But, the painful truth is that to lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out until the target weight is achieved. So that means, at least for awhile, I (we, for those of you who are joining me) have to:
Reduce calorie input, and
Increase calorie output
So here’s what I’m planning to do until I get to my target weight (155# in my case):
Portion control …..I’ve gotten into the very bad habit of starting with larger portions than I need and often going back for more. This is my main strategy.
Emphasize protein & Reduce carbs…..I love carbs , especially pastries of any kind so this will be a challenge!
Maximize fiber in the carbs I do eat
Reduce sugar as much as possible….. This means cutting out sugar-sweetened soft drinks and candy, both of which have crept into my diet this past year.
Reduce deserts to once a week…..We’ve gotten into the habit here at the farm of having some kind of desert after virtually every lunch and dinner even if just a cookie or two; this has to go. But I do plan to have desert once a week at our weekly family farm dinners on Friday nights. After all, there has to be something to look forward to each week!
Increase exercise…..I plan to take the dog out for an extra 20 minute vigorous walk every night.
So that’s the plan. I promise not to turn this into a guilt-ridden diet column but I do plan to give a weekly status update (mostly because I need the accountability) and I also hope to celebrate occasional milestones with you.
So here we go: Started January 1st at 172.0#; this morning, January 2nd 171.6#; target is 155#.
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at email@example.com
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