Well, I imagine by now 90% of those people who made a New Year's Resolution to lose weight and get in shape have given up already. Hopefully you haven't. I'm chugging away.
I'm trying not to do anything crazy this time around. I'm trying to stick with a diet I think I can live with forever. It's what I call a common sense diet where you eat good but don't make yourself suffer.
I do weight training three days a week and aerobics four days a week and take one day off. However, if I don't choke myself if I miss a day, because Lord knows the wife and kids come first.
Every person, I think, must find a diet that works for him or her. What works for me may not work for you.
I'm not much of a reporter here because I can't remember the source of this information, but I was watching the Today Show this morning and there was a group of ladies talking about a study they did regarding a "sleep diet."
What they propose is simple: GET 7.5 HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT AND YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT.
In the high tech world we live in most people get less than 7 hours sleep a night. This is much less than people used to get 100 years ago when there was little to do at night other than read stories and play the piano. So when the sun went down, people went to sleep.
Today, instead of going to sleep, people stay up to watch the last half hour of their favorite show, or finish a video game they started, or call a friend, or check their email. Of course as long as you are checking your email you might as well follow this link and that. Before you know it its midnight.
A study showed that people who have 5 hours or less sleep are 50% more likely to gain wait. The idea is that sleep deprivation increases the hormone Grehlin. Of course this also explains why people who work the night shift are more likely to gain weight.
Most of the people who participated in this study lost an average of 6 pounds in 10 weeks.
Likewise, when a person goes to sleep early, that is one less snack they eat.
I think this diet is very credible. Most of the diets I've read about say that not only is it important that you eat a good balanced diet low in carbs and fat, you should also drink 8-10 glasses of water to stay hydrated, and you should get at least 8 hours sleep at night. Or, they at least say to go to bed early.
That's hard to do when you work 3 nights a week like I do. But it explains why it is soooooo hard for me to stick to a diet. I'm doing it right now, but it's a major challenge.
Another good weight loss idea I got from Dr. Phil of all people. And I think this idea goes right along with the sleep loss diet. He said that one of the reasons its hard to stick to a diet is that people have week moments of the day, and it's in those moments you are most likely to eat bad things.
For example, I usually diet just fine during the day, but after dinner I have this undying urge to splurge. And then at about 9:00 I have this urge to have a beer. If I can somehow cut out that 150 calorie beer, and that after dinner splurge, that's 500 plus calories I could save (and an hour less on the treadmill).
What Dr. Phil proposes is to be observant of your week periods of the day (most people have at least 2), and find something else to do during those times. For instance, if you usually watch TV at 9:00 at night when you have the urge to have a beer, or to open a can of Pringles, schedule your workout at that time instead. Or find something else to do, like a hobby.
These are just some ideas. I'm not into anything wacko when I diet, just try to be sensible. I think it is dumb to give up everything you love. And I really See nothing wrong about having a beer a day, or a piece of chocolate.
In fact, the body for life for women has a diet where you eat one piece of chocolate per day. My wife read this book AFTER she lost 50 pounds while eating a piece of chocolate a day.
The idea is this, and it's not new wisdom either as my grandma used to say it: "Anything in moderation is good."
Which brings me to another idea. When I was a kid my mom limited what I ate. She never would let me eat 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- just one. She never let me eat a whole bag of chips -- just one. Yet she always let us have desserts, and we were never overweight growing up.
It wasn't until I turned 25 and decided I could eat anything I wanted now that I was an adult that I started to gain weight. Well, guess what, I have my kids on the same common sense diet my mom had me on when I was a kid. And, you guessed it, they are all in good physical shape -- for the most part.
However, kids are also a lot more physical than most adults. Which is why you need to incorporate at least some kind of physical activity, even if it's just a simple walk around the park.
Well, I'm no dietitian and no personal trainer, but I've succeeded at losing 40 pounds by dieting right and working out more than four times. Plus I try to keep up to date on all the latest tips. So you can say I'm an expert my default.
As I wrote earlier in the year I'm not a big fan of new years resolutions to lose weight and get in shape because I think you should have a lifetime resolution to do these things. Yet, if you made a resolution to do this this year, I certainly hope you are like me and are still at it -- chugging away one pound at a time.