Yo-yo dieter hoping for better come 2019

All Woman

DEAR DONOVAN,
I failed miserably with my fitness New Year's resolutions for 2018, and I want to enter 2019 on new footing. At the beginning of last year I vowed to eat better, exercise more, and be a healthier person, but that goal lasted a grand total of one month or so. Since then I have been a yo-yo dieter, losing weight only when I have an important event or function to attend, and then rapidly regaining as soon as I'm back to my normal routine.

My problem is that I love food and I can't resist anything. My diet is heavily protein and carb based, but I will also eat salads and drink natural juices. I also love dessert — pies and cakes and cookies can't be resisted. I currently weigh 160 pounds, at 5 ft 7, and most of the weight is in my stomach and hips. I want to get down to about 130. How can I ensure that for 2019 I stick to my goals more? I have access to a gym at work, a nd a walking trail at home, but my work schedule and the fact that I have to shuttle my children around to all their activities mean that I don't usually have time in the days to exercise.

This is the time of year when most people are going to be setting goals for the New Year. Unfortunately, most goals are not going to make it beyond the first month in the New Year, if so long. I must tell you setting goals, whether health or financial, is usually easy in the first part of the New Year, but keeping these goals going throughout the year is usually the hard part.

The fact is that most people find it difficult to make and sustain changes even if it is in their best interest. I am hoping that you will be successful with your health and wellness goals for this coming year.

The first thing I want you to do is to write a list of all the reasons why it is important for you to lose weight and keep it off in the New Year. You have shown that when you have special events coming up you can lose the weight. So you might just need a long-term reason why you need to keep the weight off. Yo-yo dieting is not good for your health and you should try and cut this out.

My other concern is that you are putting on weight in your stomach region. Does diabetes run in your family? If so, you don't want to go down the path which causes you to get it. In addition, the challenge of going from one clothes size to another in short intervals must be frustrating.

Going forward, you will have to create a healthy lifestyle with healthy foods and also exercise. Whatever you usually do to lose the weight short-term, you will have to set small goals and lose the weight over a longer period instead. So you might want to make small changes in your eating habits over a period of time. For example, you might start your weight loss programme doing portion control and then start eliminating some of your carbohydrates and putting in more fruits, vegetables and vegetable juices. By doing the programme over a longer period instead of doing a crash diet you are more likely to keep the weight off. In addition, although you are very busy, you should try to get in some structured exercises or get in some activities that will allow you to burn off some extra calories. If you are not doing any exercises and you are eating badly, you could be in serious trouble as far as your weight is concerned.

During your weight loss programme you will have to make sure you eat on time so that you do not get too hungry. Getting too hungry can cause you to overeat or break your diet. It might also be a good idea to drink water between your meals. Also, do not buy the things that you do not intend to eat.

If you really want to lose weight, you will find a way. More that half the problem is solved if mentally you can see and accept the reasons why you need to lose the weight and keep it off.

Good luck and a healthy and prosperous New Year to all my readers.

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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