Stay motivated

MARQUETTE — Welcome to 2018 everyone! Are you on track for improving your fitness and weight loss goals from your New Year’s Resolution? It can be challenging and difficult to stay motivated. This is particularly true when the results you want seem to take so long to achieve. No matter what age, body type or predisposition getting in shape can be achieved. Below are some helpful tips to keep you on track and motivated.

One good suggestion is to have a food journal, writing everything down after each meal and snack. Keeping track of what you eat provides accountability and allows for adjustments when needed. A trainer in my gym suggests weighing your food for portion size information. Portion sizes can be translated to calories and nutritional values, including protein, iron etcetera. Food scales range in size and prices but are a great addition to the kitchen.

The old adage, “eat three square meals a day,” breakfast, lunch and dinner has now been replaced with the opinion that eating four to six small meals per day is healthier. Choosing small frequent meals will discourage large swings in blood sugar levels, stave off hunger and deters binge eating. By eating more often you avoid feeling highs and lows in energy and mood. It provides better opportunities to choose healthy snacks avoiding the urges for junk or fast food that occur when experiencing a drop in energy between large meals.

Some other tips for weigh loss include a diet high in protein, lower in carbohydrates and ideal timing for exercise. So how much protein is enough? Simple, use your body weight and divide by two which gives you the grams of protein recommended. For example if you weigh 200 pounds divide by two, the protein in grams would be 100. To determine the amount of carbohydrates divide your caloric intake by 10, for a 2000 calorie diet 200 grams of carbohydrates is recommended. Note, carbohydrates should not drop lower than 150 grams. Lastly, working out aerobically before a meal increases your metabolism, burning calories more efficiently for the next 6-8 hours.

As with all new exercise programs, check with a doctor prior to beginning. Please be safe, smart and strong.