You can tell it’s resolutions season just by turning on the TV. Diet plans, weight-loss drugs, and fitness clubs kick their advertising into high gear when weight, diet, and exercise are foremost in people’s minds, playing on our insecurities about the pounds we packed on over the holidays or the bikinis we want to squeeze into in a few months.
Americans spend tens of billions of dollars annually on weight-loss programs, yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 69.2 percent of adults are overweight or obese. The system is broken, and your waistline is paying the price.
The reason for this failed system? We buy into diet plans that aren’t sustainable. When your weight-loss regimen involves a weekly weigh-in with another person peering at the scale or buying into a plan of (pricey) portion-controlled foods, you have support in the short term but rarely gain the tools necessary to keep the pounds off in the long term. (After all, how will these companies stay in business if they give you the know-how you need to never be their customer again?)
Think of long-term weight loss as a marathon, not a sprint. After all, many of us who accumulate excess pounds did so over several months or years—so why should we expect to shed the weight in only a fraction of that time? Rather than seeking a quick fix, look at the habits that have contributed to your weight gain: you overbook your kids’ activities during the week, leaving no time for a sit-down dinner; or you start the day eating very sparingly, but then at 3 p.m. you make a daily trip to the office vending machine; and so on. Then brainstorm ways to replace these patterns with healthier behaviors.
Want to get serious about weight loss? Register now for the upcoming web seminar “Losing Weight the Healthy Way” at Source4women.com, and let Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, help you get started on the right path.