JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: Beyond the sweat

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First Posted: 6/18/2013

Weight control is not just about spending a grueling number of hours a week in a gym dripping with sweat, nor is it just about eating “skinny” foods and strategically depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy eating.

While it’s true that your workouts need to be challenging and you must eat according to your goals, accomplishing the task of weight loss, or even managing your weight, must include the psychological strategy of success.

All the great ones had successful strategies for success: Gretsky skated to where the puck would be, not where it has been. Bugs Bunny dressed in drag to befuddle his opponents.

Willpower alone won’t shrink your waistline, so you must employ similar strategies to insure success. The following strategies will help you get on track and successfully accomplish what you set out to do:

1. Weigh yourself often. Some people believe that weighing yourself too much can lead to unhealthy obsession, yet some experts believe that you can use it as an early warning system for weight gain.

2. Snack on nuts. An experiment done by the City of Hope National Medical Center, showed that people who snacked on a precise 70 almonds per day dropped 18% body fat when also used in conjunction with a lower calorie diet.

3. Banish the New Year’s resolution. Experts agree that starting a fat loss plan in January may not be the best strategy. It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon with the “new year, new you” approach. However, shorter days cause your serotonin levels to drop and cravings to increase. The best time of the year may actually be May or June, when there is more daylight. Energy levels rise and hunger cravings are more likely to drop during these months.

In addition to the above tips, be sure to be ready for your new venture. If you need to hunt for good mentors or for someone who was in a similar starting place as you, then seek out that person and allow them to help you build your strategy. Build a support group of family, friends, doctors, a nutritional adviser, and a personal trainer. Establish reasonable goals and a timeline to accomplish these goals. Being held accountable holds you to a higher level than going at it alone.

Once you chart out your plan, it’s time to execute. Taking “before” pictures is another great idea and an excellent way to track your progress. Take notes or keep a journal throughout your journey and before you know it you’ll be on you way to fat loss success.

-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.