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By Kevin Fox
With the New Year comes changes aside from having to hang up a new calendar. Many Clark County residents will begin 2013 by making the resolution that we will be seeing less of them over the coming months. But for the many who decide to lose weight many will also fail.
“Losing weight is much more than simply eating less, it is more of a change of one’s lifestyle:” stated Haley Davidson R.N with the Clark County Health Department. Davidson will be overseeing the “Shape Up! Clark County”, which is an annual 8-week weight loss challenge. While a large number of residents participate in the annual event, there are also folks at home who would like to lose weight, but not participate in weigh in event. So for those who plan on participating in the “Shape Up Clark County” and for those who wish to shed a few pounds before spring arrives, Haley Davidson offered the following advice,
“The first thing you should do is set a realistic goal and something which you can live with, without creating something that’s just too difficult to achieve. The basics of weight loss are: eat less, move more, and drink lots of water. The first week of a weight loss program will see the most weight loss, but a good program will see most people losing 1 to 2 pounds a week after that first week. For most people they will lose weight if they stay around 2,000 calories a day“
Davidson added other tips that help with weight loss, “It’s really good if you write down everything that you eat. It will amaze you how much you eat in a day. This time of year this is especially true when you have cookies and brownies sitting around and you just pick one up without thinking. Everything adds up. It’s also good if you stay with the recommended serving sizes, and a serving is what you can put in the palm of your hand. Of course there are foods that you stay away from such as pasta, as a serving size of pasta is a half a cup of cooked pasta, and trust me that is not very much.
According to a finding most restaurants serve 4 servings of spaghetti. It’s also important that you do not eat late in the evening and not give the food time to digest. But even more important is to eat a good breakfast as it really does set the tone for the day, rather than eating nothing and you get hungrier as the day goes on. And rather than eat three big meals a day, it’s better for one to eat five small meals throughout the day. For example, if you are feeling tired in the afternoon eat a handful of grapes or have an apple. Those mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks should be low in sugar, and high in protein. Nuts are an ideal snack as they are a good combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats. As far as water goes, the average American drinks 450 calories per day, replace that with water and it will defiantly help you lose weight. As far as junk food goes, get rid of it. If you do not have it in the house or at the office then you cannot eat it.”
Davidson then spoke about an exercise program, ”For almost all of us it’s had to find the time to get in the amount of exercise that we should. If possible 20 minutes a day exercising to get your heart rate up. But even taking a walk after eating can help a great deal, and not just because it burns calories. The Mayo Clinic has a study that shows a light post-meal exercise, like walking, can lower your blood sugar and prevent your body from storing fat.”
The basic ten tips for losing weight are:
1. Find out how many calories you need.
2. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
3. Watch for portion size.
4. Do not skip meals
5. Go for wholesome fresh foods
6. Do not be overly- restrictive
7. Understand Food Claims and labels
8. Watch for the sugary drinks
9. Keep a food journal
The “Shape Up” Clark County Weight Loss Program will start on January 22 and run through March 19. Registration will be from January 2 – January 22. The cost is $5.00 per team members with that money going towards the team losing the highest percentage. New this year are the weekly weigh-ins which will be on Tuesday with the final weigh-in on March 19.