More Americans are either overweight or obese than ever before. A New York Times article says 34-percent of adults are obese, according to a 2010 report released by the Centers for Disease Control. The mountains of evidence health care professionals have presented–meant to motivate Americans to eat healthy, exercise, and control their weight, does not appear to be working. Most know the straightforward blueprint of lose weight-loss; burn more calories than you consume. Unfortunately, losing weight and keeping it off is not so simple.
According to the American Council on Exercise, portion control is one of the ABC’s of losing weight and keeping it off. Several portion control tips from ACE include eating from smaller plates, measure or weigh servings, read nutritional labels whenever possible, and do not fret if you leave food on your plate.
Use the Scale
The scale can be an important tool in your fight to loose and maintain your weight for the long haul. Although you do not need to weight in each day—or worry over ounces, a few times a week is a good practice. When using the scale, weigh in at the same time of day is advisable, mornings are best before having breakfast.
Shape magazine suggests fiber is a necessary part of an effective weight loss program—recommending 25 g of fiber each day. A fiber rich diet will leave you feeling full, helping you reduce your caloric intake. Fiber is in fruit, vegetables, and foods containing whole-grain.
Exercise, according to CBS News, can help or hinder your efforts to lose weight. Most believe that exercising burns calories—resulting in weight loss. This is true, however exercise can leave you feeling hungry, causing you to eat more than you burned during your workout. In addition, many people reward themselves because they exercised–a piece of cake or some other treat is an entitlement. Finally, many people over-estimate the amount of calories they actually burn exercising and therefore eat more recovering from their workout then they burned.
Drinking enough water is an import part of successful weight-loss program. Drinking too much water is often associated with bloating, especially in woman. However, water will actually reduce excess sodium stored in the body, which is the real cause of bloating. Water will also make you feel fuller, causing you to eat less. Shape magazine suggests drinking at least eight, 8-oz. glasses of water daily.
Learn to check your hydration factor: if your urine is light yellow with good volume, you are doing fine. If the color is dark yellow or beer-brown, it is time to drink up.
As athletes, we are perhaps more concerned with managing our weight than the general population. Although most of us could likely conduct a seminar on the various pieces of a successful weight management program, putting them all together so they work in harmony and succeed is difficult, at best. I think the 7-time Tour de France said it best when asked what he thought the best tool for managing weight was. His response; the bathroom scale.