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Diet and Weightloss -- Start Your New Year Off Right!
FINDING THE PERFECT DIET
Arriving at the Perfect Diet is no quick, simple task in today's world of fast-paced living. For example, there are several different educational food pyramid plans. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a food guide pyramid. And the Mayo Clinic, in conjunction with the May Foundation for Medical Education and Research, has their Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. (Lists of pyramids are updated regularly at the USDA site: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/Fpyr/pyramid.html .)
Then there are the lifestyle choices to go along with the dietary plans. Lives need to be balanced in order to make the perfect diet effective. For example, depending upon the body type, history, physical and mental make up and other factors, some dietary solutions are more perfectly suitable and / or adaptable than others when working in accordance with day-to-day activities; exercise, nutrition, health, etc.
BASIC WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
The perfect diet should be combined with a healthy weight management or activity program. Weight management may conjure up that dreaded "exercise" word. And exercise to some means pushing the body beyond limits, experiencing painful in joints, muscles, and bones - everywhere. No pain no gain, right? Wrong. Instead, replace the word "exercise" with "activity" and incorporate this in your daily routine. And a general rule of thumb for guidelines about "activity" would be to strive for a minimum of 30 minutes for adults or 60 minutes for children of moderate physical activity daily.
Individual activity goals depend upon each person's health and weight goals and issues. Begin by checking with your medical advisor or healthcare physician to get a green light on which activities would be suitable for you, what your target weight range should be and a strategic plan to improve your health.
In a nutshell, during activities, calories are burned, pounds are shed in the long run. And the number of calories burned depends upon the duration and intensity or the activity. Slow and steady is the rule of thumb. And note daily progress. For those who have never been very active at all, it may be advisable to begin slowly like with walking 10 minutes each day, gradually building up time and distance with increased "brisk" pacing. Even if you can't get out walking, biking or swimming, take stairs instead of elevators and escalators. Clean your house. Clean your car. Wash windows. Wash your dog. Check out exercise videos, cassettes and workout books from the public library and put some of their ideas into action. Check out your local fitness centers, YMCA, community center, too, for ideas. Partner up with a neighbor to walk or join a community volleyball team. There are unlimited ways to be active and enjoy life at the same time without using painful weight loss strategies.
Written by Shelley Hitz, Licensed Physical Therapist and Certified NASM Personal Trainer.
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