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Lessons From Trying to Shed Those Extra Holiday Pounds

Posted Feb 03 2011 12:16pm

( Photo property of StyleFrizz )

Yep, we’re one month into 2011 and I’ve already learned some things. New Years is a time of diet resolutions and motivation, but it tends to lead way into a slump when we start falling short of our goals.  I might not be able to fix all your disappointments, but I can tell you what I have learned from trying to keep my New Year’s resolution to lose the extra holiday pounds I gained and get back in shape

Exercise may not be enough.

Despite the fact that I gained considerable extra poundage this past holiday season, I kept up my exercise routine all the way through. My runs were NOT enough to counteract all the holiday treats I was eating. Running can be a double-edged sword, it burns calories but it can rev up your appetite. I am being more wary of this now.

Whole grain carbs are part of a healthy diet, but easy to overdo.

Oatmeal and whole grain pasta and breads! Yum yum! After taking a long look about how I was eating, even after the holiday and into the new year, I realized that I was eating more than my fair share of grains. I am not making a conscious effort to put down the whole wheat pancakes and go for the greens instead.

Water is a dieter’s best friend.

I had several diet fails while trying to get back into shape this January. I realized that while diet sodas might seem like a guilt-free treat, they often contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and I find that if I am drinking diet soda regularly, I have trouble staying hydrated. I have switched to big, tall glasses of H2O and seen my appetite go down and my energy level go up.  Being hydrated is a wonderful thing!

Ditch the “last meal” mentality.

I had previously scoffed at the dieting tip to “not clean your plate” or “leave a few bites behind” and considered it seriously useless. How much of a difference could it make? Well, as Americans we tend to eat and eat until we’re stuffed at every meal, but this is not balanced. If I want to be balanced in my eating and not deprive myself of the occasional restaurant meal, not finishing all the portions is a real way to change the game. I know this will be a good rule for maintaining a healthy weight.

A little protein goes a long way.

I recently blogged that I had decided to start eating lean meats and eggs on a daily basis again after months of not doing so.  An egg a day and a 4oz piece of chicken or turkey really kicks my workouts to the next level and curbs my hunger. I am still eating plant-based, but meat and eggs as side-dishes are really making my diet and fitness goals feasible.

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