photo by EfrankE

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year's Tradition

Where has the last week gone? One minute it’s Christmas, you blink a couple of times and it’s nearly New Years Eve. Not to panic, though. There’s still time to form up the annual New Year’s Weight Loss Plan.

Perhaps you engage in this tradition too, the one where, at the change of the year, you set out an unreasonable goal of losing an impossible amount of weight in order “to get back to where you need to be.”

I don’t know if this stems more from obligation or compulsion, social pressure or internalized value, but it’s definitely become an annual tradition, much like ice-bathing for the Polar Bear Club or bathing at all for hippies.

For me, it started up again last night. Sensing I was a little behind schedule, the pressure began building to talk about getting on some sort of diet. Starting off on a diet cold-turkey usually ends in predictable failure so I always try to ease myself into it a little at a time. It helps to be able to see a diet coming so you can brace yourself for impact.

I like to start off by limiting myself to just three meals a day and one dessert per day meal. This is to avoid a shock to your system, which can leave you feeling hungry. Hunger pangs can lead you cheat on your diet so you want to avoid them at all costs.

I go from there to substituting a salad instead of a milkshake as a side to the double-bacon cheeseburger and order the smaller bag of fries, which I think is now called carton-size.

Pizza can be a real diet-slayer, so only eat those on weekends. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories so be sure to drink light beer whenever you eat pizza.

Some experts say exercise is important but watch out, vigorous exercise can also leave you feeling hungry and if you’re trying to stick to the three-meals-a-day plan you may want to avoid any kind of exercise that involves exertion.

Always eat before you go to parties, so that you don’t feel the need to pig out because the food is free. Explain to the hostess that you’re on a diet so she will understand and ask if you can take a “doggie bag” with you to nibble on during the drive home to help avoid those pesky feelings of hunger.

There are other tips to losing weight but most of them are just old wives tales, in my opinion. There is one other useful diet device you might consider: Post a picture of yourself on the refrigerator, taken when you were at the weight you wish to achieve. It can be a great motivator! Here’s the one I put up on my fridge yesterday.

This was nearly 40 years and 65 pounds ago. I think it suitably represents an unreasonable goal of impossible weight loss and should work nicely.

No comments:

Post a Comment