I am debating using a dietary supplement to lose weight. I have not decided which to try out but I am unsure if this is the right thing to do. I have tried going to the gym but I have no one to go with. I have tried personal training but I cannot afford it. I have tried to diet but I never succeed. I have been dealing with weight issues since high school ended. My clothes are fitting too tight and I do not want to buy new clothes. My girlfriend is in good shape due to her career. I feel ashamed when I have to meet the guys she works with since all of them are in good shape too. She does not seem embarrassed to be seen with me or disappointed in my looks. We do not have the same eating habits so it is affecting my weight. I am a healthy eater – she is a junky. I have expressed my feelings to her which was very hard to do. She told me she supports my choice and then she buys all this junk food. HELP ME! The holidays are here and all the good food is here too……
- 300 Calorie Pack
Dear 300 Calorie Pack,
First off – I am not certified in nutrition or anything but I have experience in attempting to lose weight along with my close friends. On top of that, I have four friends who are personal trainers. So the advice I give you is a mix of my own trial and error along with the advice given by those trainers.
Losing weight is not an easy thing – especially as we get older. To target the first question – I do not suggest using a dietary supplement that is offering extreme results or something that does sound too good to be true. I would recommend talking with a certified personal trainer or nutritionist instead. They can offer you natural and non harmful supplements or proteins.
I think it is all about daily changes. You need to get a full night of sleep as often as possible. Keeping yourself hydrated can kick cravings and keep you feeling satisfied. Avoid over eating by keeping healthy snacks around the house, in your car and at work. Examples of healthy snacks are unsalted nuts, dried fruit, fruit, or vegetables and dip.
My next offer of advice would be – track everything you eat. Keep a journal, log what you eat, how much of it you eat and the time you eat. Allow room for the amount of activity and exercise you do. Another element would be to write the level of stress you experienced throughout the day. Stress is just as important to keep track of as are the calories in your food.
Be careful going out to eat – portions are bigger than they should be, so either split it in half and take it home or go for a smaller entree. Even salads can include high calorie dressing. Also – the bread basket should be moved aside. For example: One Chipotle burrito is an ENTIRE day of suggested calorie intake. Most restaurants offer a “healthy menu” or an online nutrition guideline. I would avoid fast food at all costs – even the “healthy” options. Most are loaded with preservatives and calories. There are books that help you choose the right things at restaurants.
Many sites offer suggested menus and grocery lists to help you shop right. If you live with your girlfriend, have her make a copy of the list and use it for grocery shopping. If you do the shopping – then accommodate her likes but also, introduce her to new food. Lower sodium options, items without fake sugar and organic food for example.
There are books that can help guide you through the process. ” The Abs Diet ” is one of the best. There are plenty of self-help books on losing weight. Go for ones without a celebrity on the front. Aim for one that has multiple food ideas, recipes, guidelines, tips and visual exercises.
There is at home equipment meant for purchase – some even include menus, grocery lists, tips to lose weight and even exercises to help tone you up! They can be purchased at department stores or bargain stores. You can do it in the privacy of your own home. Set aside 20 minutes a day and raise that heart rate! Also – most digital cable has their own workout channels. [ranges from aerobic movement to yoga to pilates or a full boot camp] Find a workout buddy! Maybe your girlfriend will do it with you. See if there is a common interest – hiking, canoe riding, running, biking, a certain sports – or just hitting the gym. If she sees how much this means to you, she may just make the extra effort.
So lets do a recap:
Make daily changes
- get a full nights rest
- Re-Do the Grocery List!
- Find new recipes to make healthy food taste better
- Reduce sodium, fake sugar, and complex carb intake
- Increase your water intake! [clears your skin too!]
- Create a food journal – review each week
- Get books and DVDs to help you along the way
- Join a gym with a friend
- Buy workout equipment you will use at home
A few extra tips:
- Eat 3 meals a day but snack in between
- Weight gain is your body taking in more calories than it is burning off
- Drink and eat prior and after your workout
- Do not burn yourself out
- Try to not skip meals
- Portion Control is important – to give you an idea – the proper serving of rice is a baseball – how often do you go out and see HALF the plate covered in rice?
- Do not eat everything in sight no matter how tempting!
- If you must sample everything – think TEASPOON! sized portions
- Alcohol adds weight – especially to the lower back and abs – drink eggnog and cider versus Irish Coffees and White Russians
- Take a cookie – versus a handful!
- Low Fat Milk versus Whole Milk
- Write down what time you are working out and do not skip it
- When at parties – walk around, talk and mingle – do not stand near the food table
Whatever you do – do not focus on the weight itself. Focus on the way you are feeling after the first week and as you continue. Hopefully you will sleep better, have more energy, have a better attitude and enjoy your improved self! All the best!