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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Four Steps to Lose Weight in 30 Days

I’m hungry. My clock, illuminating my bedroom, reminds me it’s11:15 p.m. On cue, my television suddenly bellows, “If you’re over 40 and have struggled with losing excess weight, it’s not your fault!”

I knew it.

What a relief. This extra 15 pounds I’ve picked up in the past couple years really isn’t my fault. The commercial says so. And if I’ll just send $39.95 for my first month’s supply, they’ll show me how to lose this weight, once and for all.


Wait…what’s that telephone number. And where did I put my credit card?

While I’m up, I think I’ll just go see what I can find to eat in the kitchen.

The Dynamics of Dieting
How many times have we fallen into the ‘diet trap?’ Obsessed with dropping extra weight, and in search of a ‘quick fix’; we often fall prey to the multi-billion dollar weight- loss industry. An abundance of information, most of it contradictory in nature, battles for our attention daily.

Yet, as the former owner of a successful weight loss center, I have learned one thing. Losing weight takes time, effort and dedication. Quick fixes don’t last!

I’ve seen firsthand the detriment of fad diets. Clients, who became fast friends, shared story after story of losing the weight they desired, only to regain it. They were devastated. Desperate. And often looking to me, as a weight loss consultant, for another quick fix.

They usually didn’t like the first thing I shared: “Losing weight is a lifestyle change. It isn’t about what you’re going to eat for the next month. It’s about how you’re going to eat for the rest of your life.” You can lose weight without taking pills, without eliminating carbohydrates, and without starving yourself. But it will take time, and effort.

With lifestyle changes, the pounds will melt away. Slowly and consistently. At our weight loss center, I focused on a safe and gradual weight loss of no more than two pounds per week. A weight loss of this nature is more apt to stay off. (Individuals in extreme health situations could obtain approval from a physician for a more immediate weight loss.)

Winning the ‘Battle of the Bulge’

The battle with our metabolism as we age can’t be denied. Our metabolism, which transforms our food into energy, slows down with each passing year. If we don’t adjust our eating habits and our exercise to compensate, we slowly add additional pounds. We may feel betrayed, but the reality is we’re going to have to change some habits in order to maintain our weight.

One step at a time, there are basic steps that can be adopted. Stop telling yourself, “I just can’t do it.” You can coax yourself into a new habit of healthy eating.

As a weight loss coach, I used four steps that consistently brought a weight loss within 30 days.

1. Drink water.
Most individuals don’t drink nearly enough water. Colas and coffee don’t count! Yes, you really should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. And maybe more, depending on your weight.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you drink a full glass of water before beginning your meal, your stomach simply doesn’t hold as much food.

No, you will not gain weight from drinking a lot of water. It’s when you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, your body gets dehydrated. When it does finally get water, it holds onto it and stores it for a future need. (That’s when we feel swollen, and bloated with water weight.) However, if you give your body enough water on a regular basis, it releases it naturally. Drinking enough water gives you the benefit of hydration and fullness.

2. Eat a balanced meal.
This might be the one thing we learned in elementary school that we really can use in our adult life – the basic food groups. Proteins and carbohydrates are essential to a healthy meal. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet, and proteins burn fat. At a bare minimum, each meal should consist of a protein and a carbohydrate.

3. Don’t skip meals.
One of the worst things we can do, in our attempt to lose weight, is to skip a meal. I’ve seen it countless times: Motivated to lose weight, an individual decides to eat just twice a day. But your metabolism needs the consistency of regular meals. With erratic eating schedules, the body thinks it’s starving. So, everything it takes in – it stores as fat to be used for energy.

Eat three balanced meals a day, and when you’re hungry in between, eat healthy snacks.

4. Exercise.
People who exercise live longer and feel better. And, they lose weight quicker. But, keep it simple.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.”

It’s never too late to get in shape.

Yes, metabolisms change. But we don’t have to buy into the commercials. There are things we can do to combat it and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.


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