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57 I've started a diet and exercise program, but I'm finding it really hard to stay on track. Any suggestions?




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This article is from the Diet FAQ, by Claudia McCreary cookignnewsletter@chef.net with numerous contributions by others.

57 I've started a diet and exercise program, but I'm finding it really hard to stay on track. Any suggestions?

Eating tips:

* Make sure that the eating plan you're following--whether it's a commercial
plan like Weight Watchers or one you devised yourself--suits your needs and
cravings. Do you need the control of weighing and measuring every bite that
you eat, or do you need the freedom of eating
whatever quantities of low-fat, nutritious foods that satisfy your hunger?
Do you feel most in control if you eat 3 meals a day, or if you "graze" on 5
or 6 small meals throughout the day? Do you need to ease into a new eating
plan gradually, adapting to new low-fat, high-fiber foods week by week, or
would you be more motivated by going "cold turkey" on junk foods? Do what
works for you, which may not be at all the same thing that worked for your
best friend, husband, etc.

* Don't beat yourself up if you "fall off the wagon" and indulge (or even
overindulge) in something you think you shouldn't have eaten. An episode of
uncontrolled eating does not mean that you or your diet failed, just as a
minor fender-bender doesn't mean that you or your car are totally
unworthy of ever appearing in traffic again. When it comes to improving
your health, doing something, no matter how small, is always better
than doing nothing. You may not be willing or able to adopt all of our
suggestions regarding nutrition and exercise, but everybody can work some of
these changes into their lives. Try switching from whole milk, regular
mayonnaise and salad dressings to their nonfat counterparts.
If you just can't live without meat, eat meat, but eat leaner cuts and
smaller portions. If you can't exercise every day, at least take the stairs
or walk around the block every once in a while. The more you can do the
better, but even the smallest changes can improve your long-term health
and your self-image.

Exercise tips:

* Don't overdo it; start out gradually. The point is not to exhaust
yourself.

* Try a variety of different exercises: walking, biking (outdoors or
stationary bike), skating/rollerblading, dancing (in a class, to a tape, or
put on some peppy music and make up your own steps), trampolining, hiking,
etc. Even if you don't find an activity you like, maybe you'll find one
you can tolerate.

* Try listening to music, books on tape, or motivational tapes while
exercising; maybe you can distract yourself. (Be extremely cautious and
alert when using personal stereos with headphones outdoors, since these
devices may leave you unable to hear approaching cars, bicycles, etc.)

* Consider the possibility of "double-density" exercises: combining exercise
with other activities that you do enjoy, such as reading or watching TV
while riding a stationary bicycle, or using walks to catch up on quality
time with your significant other or your kids.

* Every little bit of exercise helps, so work in some extra motion whenever
you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park well away from
buildings (if it's safe to do so), etc. Healthy people are active people;
overweight people are good at finding ways to conserve their energy.

* Try biking to work, school, etc. People commute up to 30 miles each way.
This can be done in all weather that's passable by our-wheel-drive cars, day
or night, and it's no less safe than in a car. Your exercise time is largely
time you would have spent commuting anyway, and you save
tons of money. [I strongly recommend John and comfortably.--kfl]

* If your destination is 5 miles away or less, consider walking or jogging.

* Stick with your exercise plan until it becomes a habit, one that you'll
enjoy brushing their teeth, but just as few would want to skip doing so for
three or four days.





 

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previous page: 56 I move around a lot during the day; I try to use stairs instead of elevators, park my car on the far side of the parking lot, etc. Would I qualify as a "moderately active" person?
  
page up: Diet FAQ
  
next page: 58 Newsgroups