by Rhonda Zonoozi and Tracy Garrett
Year after year, shedding pounds and getting fit top the list of New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, they also top the list of failed resolutions.
As the joke goes, “If losing weight was as easy as losing your keys, your cellphone, your temper or your mind, we’d all be skinny.”
Jokes aside, research shows that almost two out of three American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at great risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and some cancers. The good news is that even a 5 to 10 percent weight loss can significantly decrease those risks.
Of course, talk is cheap. How can we turn talk into action that leads to a healthier, trimmer you? Here are a few practical tips to get started.
- Track your tracks.Simply wearing an activity-monitoring gadget, even a low-tech pedometer, will get you thinking more about how active you are. Aim for 10,000 steps a day but don’t get off track if that’s too much for now. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Buddy Up. Whatever your “health” resolution is, let your friends know about it. Find a buddy or two with similar resolutions and text, email or call regularly to keep each other honest and motivated.
- Two weeks to a new you.Whatever your “health” resolution, commit to sticking with it for at least two weeks. Our brains typically need that amount of time to reprocess and establish new habits.
- If you’re considering a weight loss program, look for one that includes:
- A plan to keep the weight off over the long haul
- Guidance on how to develop healthier habits
- Ongoing feedback, monitoring and support
- Gradual and realistic weight loss goals.
If a program sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Learn more about weight loss and free or low-cost classes at the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing or call 623-223-8865.
The Center offers a 12-week weight loss program (with three monthly follow-up sessions) focused on weight control, physical activity, nutrition and behavior change. The group program also includes an exercise component. For more information, call 832-WELL (9355).
Make this your year to get healthy. What do you have to lose?
Rhonda Zonoozi is an exercise physiologist and certified health coach. Tracy Garrett is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Both work for the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing.
(Originally published Jan. 24, 2015; last updated Jan. 12, 2019.)