Getting Ready for a Beach Body

Cathy S. Judd  |  7/24/2015 8:42:06 PM

Cathy Judd is the Nutrition Agent in Lincoln Parish with the LSU AgCenter.

Photo By: John Wozniak

Panic! Just a few weeks before the beach! My bathing suit will not be my friend! What do I do? Double up on exercise? Do I cut out carbs? Cut out all desserts and sweets? Can I possibly have that beach body in just a few weeks? Advertisements want you to think so. Have you ever seen an advertisement that states lose 10 pounds in 3 days? A magic pill, is that possible?

There are many weight loss programs on the market today. The weight loss industry brings in over 20 billion dollars a year in the United States. We are all looking for a quick way to lose the pounds. That’s what some weight loss programs that sound too good to be true are selling. There is no magic pill.

The truth of the matter is weight loss is slow and steady. When you lose weight don’t think of a finish line. Have you had an event where you wanted to lose weight in a hurry; maybe your class reunion, a wedding, or to fit into that swim suit? Eighty percent of the people that participate in one of these fast weight loss programs regain the weight.

So what is the trick to losing weight? Eat a sensible diet and exercise everyday. With so much delicious tasting food on the market and everywhere –yes it is tempting to eat this all the time and anytime! Remember, everything in moderation. Eating healthy is a mindset!

There are many tools available to help you get started eating healthy and to stay on track. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great tool. When you go to the site, My Plate, click on “Daily Food Plan”. Here you will fill in information about yourself; age, height, sex, weight, and activity level. It will give you a food plan that fits the information you’ve given. The plan includes how many calories you need for the day. The plan is divided into how many vegetables, fruits, gains, dairy, and protein you need. On the left side of the page there are tools to help you plan your meals; it gives you healthy eating tips, and recipes. You may also track your food intake and this program will tell you how well you are doing. Your plan states to limit sugars and fats. It will give you a range of oil. Mine was 5 or less teaspoons of oil a day. You want to stay away from empty calories. These are calories that give you no nutritional value.

The key to healthy eating is planning ahead. When you’re hungry and there is nothing healthy to eat, you might be like me, eat what is available. So, plan to have healthy food available and keep it handy. The Super Tracker will help you track the foods you are eating and provides you with what is needed for good health.

Keeping weight at a healthy range includes exercising. There are so many good benefits from exercising; it enriches the blood, improves circulation, restores elasticity and strengthens muscles, builds endurance, and improves posture. You can feel more confidence from the results of exercise because it can help you feel good and look younger. Exercise enhances agility and mobility. So why are you not exercising? Maybe you haven’t tapped into your inner-child. Remember what you liked to do when you were younger? Did you play baseball, tennis, ride a bike, go dancing, or water skiing? Exercise doesn’t have to be boring! Try doing a moderate to vigorous exercise activity you really enjoy. You will more likely stick to routine exercising if you look forward to doing it. The ChooseMyPlate.gov site has information on moderate to vigorous exercise activities and how many calories you can burn participating in them.

Remember when you reach your goal you don’t stop eating healthy and exercising. Healthy weight is a daily choice. We must balance the food we eat with the food we burn.

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