Realistic New Year Weight Loss Plan

It is OK…. everyone breath; it is here again; the beginning of a New Year and countless resolutions to lose weight.  Remember that our weight loss journeys are noble pursuits…and a tremendous way to care for our health and ourselves.

How much do I need to lose?

We know that even as little as 5% of body weight loss is shown to reduce risks of chronic disease like Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease. For someone that is 200 pounds…that’s 10 pounds of weight loss. That amount is realistic, it is attainable, and very likely to improve your health. More importantly, you show yourself that you are capable of weight loss, that those changes you made to your lifestyle, like avoiding high calorie beverages and upping your fruits and veggies, can make a difference.

Resolve to be Specific

Everyone is, in fact different, but we know that extra calories will cause anyone to gain weight. Therefore, finding a way to reduce your calorie intake should be specific to your habits and taste preferences.  Replacing high calorie drinks with water, cutting restaurant portions in half, and avoiding sides like fries or chips are specific and can help if these are part of your everyday routine, but they might apply to everyone. In that case, take a good and honest look at your food habits and make some substitutions or reductions. If skipping fries is a non-starter then you can reduce the portion size or plan to balance them out throughout the day.

Be Patient…This is a Long Game

Half a pound of weight loss a week is fantastic progress, but especially appropriate for those that are small in stature or older. Half a pound a week might not seem like a lot, but that amounts to 2 pounds of weight loss each month.  In 5 months, that will turn into 10 pounds of body weight loss. Think about that. If someone had told me at the beginning of August that I could lose 10 pounds by the beginning of the year, I would have been thrilled.

That slow, realistic, and consistent change is the reason that “Step Up Scale Down” lasts 12 weeks. “Step Up Scale Down” is a New Year Weight Loss Program provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. It covers the basics of a balanced and portioned plan of eating that encourages fruits and vegetables and personal physical activity goals. The program also provides encouragement and accountability in a group setting for the community or worksites.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bosque County will be holding a “Step Up Scale Down” program starting on February 7th at noon at the Extension office in Meridian. For more information, or to sign up, please contact County Extension Agent – Family and Community Health Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or at chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu

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