Friday, March 17, 2006

The six (mythical) habits of dieters

Connie Aronson ? Fitness Guru


Connie Aronson

By CONNIE ARONSON

1. Skip breakfast.

Don't! You've fasted all night, and your muscles and liver are low in glycogen. Food fuels your brain and gives you energy to meet the demands of a full day ahead. The National Weight Control Registry, the largest study of successful weight loss maintenance, showed that breakfast eating was one of the most important habits practiced by the newly svelte.

2. Try this week's hot new diet.

Save your money. A client recently told me she couldn't eat bananas, even though she loved them, because they weren't on her diet. A medium banana is 80 calories, loaded with potassium, which is vital for controlling your body's fluid balance. And they contain soluble fiber, making it a healthy food choice. Eliminating foods you love is a sure way for your inner child to throw a tantrum and rebel.

3. Starting next week...on Monday!

Live in the moment. Everyday we're faced with many food choices, what's for lunch, what's for dinner. Making small changes, like skipping the Mayo, and adding more spicy mustard to a sandwich, can save you calories today. What are you waiting for?

4. Have calorie-recall glitches.

Fess-up! Overweight participants on diets underestimated their calorie in-take by as much as 40 percent, according to experts. Try keeping an honest food dairy to identify where you get stuck. Post-it notes are a friendly fess-up reminder. Stick them on your computer, on the refrigerator, or on the top of the package of cookies waiting for you on your pantry shelf.

5. Blame it on menopause.

Yes, there is a change in fat distribution around the belly. But in the Healthy Women's Study of 42-50 year-olds, it appeared to be not all hormonal. Behavioral changes, like exercising less, contributed to unwanted pounds.

6. It's just too stressful right now for me.

Joseph Piscatella, author and founder of The Institute for Fitness & Health, points out that too much stress in our lives is the main reason why people aren't changing their lifestyles, and that "all roads lead to the refrigerator." Watch a "Seinfield" episode instead and laugh out loud, play with your kids, take a deep, slow breath. One more time...

Connie Aronson is ACSM Health/Fitness Inst. Certified, ACE Gold Certified Personal Trainer, IDEA Elite Personal Trainer and is located at Koth Sports Physical Therapy in Ketchum.




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