The Times West Virginian

Life

January 31, 2008

Keeping your New Year's resolutions?

FAIRMONT — A little over a month ago, if you were like most Americans, you probably sat down, pen in hand, and wrote yourself your “new” New Year’s resolutions for 2008.

If you’re like most Americans, getting into physical and financial shape probably topped the list. But, if you’re like most Americans, this list could be used for any year.

Make 2008 the year you keep your resolutions. It’s possible but it will br easier if you do it in baby steps.

The number-one resolution is to lose weight.

• Step one: Set a realistic goal.

“If it’s an overwhelming amount to lose, we advise you to adjust your goal weight,” said Annie Bronsak, registered and licensed dietitian.

“Think about it as losing 10 pounds at a time. You have to commit to change and develop a new lifestyle of changing your eating habits.”

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) says to plan to lose one to two pounds weekly by consuming approximately 300 to 500 fewer calories daily than usual.

• Step two: Evaluate your current diet.

According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, each pound of fat your body stores represents 3,500 calories of unused energy. To lose one pound, you need to take in 3,500 fewer calories over a period of time than you need or doing 3,500 calories worth of exercise.

• Step three: Count calories, because calories count.

Eating 250 more calories each day than your body needs will add one pound every two weeks. On the other hand, burning an extra 500 calories each day will help you lose a pound a week.

• Step four: Devise an eating plan based on moderation, variety and balance.

Create your diet around the USDA Food Pyramid for servings: milk, yogurt and cheese (two to three servings); meat, poultry and fish (two to three); vegetables (three to five); fruits (two to four); grains and pasta (six to 11); and water (eight servings). Use fats, oils and sweets sparingly.

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