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photo by Mike Baird

We live in an obesogenic world.  Staying fit and healthy is an uphill battle in our environment of sedentary jobs, long commutes and easily accessible calorie dense nutrient void foods.

I say dare to be different.

It takes going against the grain to lose weight and keep it off these days. But remember, it’s not impossible. The National Weight Control Registry is full of people who have thumbed their noses at the norms contributing to the obesity epidemic in our country and have proven that you can lose weight and keep it off. Their members average 74 lbs lost and maintained for an average of 5.2 years. 20% of their participants have lost more than 100 lbs.  Here are some common traits of these successful “losers” and how you can make them happen in your own life:

  1. Self monitoring: This one is accomplished in 2 ways. First, self monitoring food intake. That means keeping a food journal and measuring portions. You have to know what’s going in to balance it with what you are expending daily. Second, self monitoring your weight or other measurements. If you monitor your weight it’s easy to see when things start to go the wrong way and correct them before they go too far.
  2. High levels of physical activity: Don’t be an active couch potato. Have focused workouts but also get up and move throughout the day.  Use an alarm or a tool like Work Rave to prompt you to get up and move on a regular basis.
  3. Limit TV time: Don’t settle in on the couch and finish off a sedentary day with a sedentary night.  Watch TV at the gym on the treadmill or turn off the TV altogether and choose things like active gaming or outdoor activities to finish off the day.
  4. Eat a consistent diet: No, you don’t have to eat the same thing at every meal day after day. But having a standard breakfast or afternoon snack makes it easy to plan and manage portions.

None of these tips are complicated, but they are atypical for the Average American.  It does take courage to live healthy and fit. Be strong inside to be strong outside.

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