Zen Basics for Weight Loss

Simple Steps

1. Eat with Wellness in Mind

2. Exercise because you love it

Listening to too many sources for guidance is what makes weight loss complicated. The average person looks at a mininum of 3 sources while they are trying to lose weight. Sound familiar? First you get motivated to get with a program — ANY program. If you stay in the search mode you won’t be in the exercise and losing weight mode. If that’s the case, you won’t lose weight. You must get back to basics and make your body respond to your exercise and diet routine.

The basic truth: you must burn more than you eat. However, you should never just get in the gym to burn calories. Then life is horrid and the gym is like a prison. I think this is said best by Nancy Clark.

“If you are exercising to lose weight, I encourage you to separate exercise and weight. Yes, you should exercise for health, fitness, stress relief and, most importantly, for ENJOYMENT. (After all, the E in exercise stands for enjoyment.) I discourage you from exercising to burn off calories. Under those conditions, exercise feels like punishment for having excess body fat. Grueling exercise fails to get integrated into a life-long, health promotion plan.”  Nancy Clark, MS, RD****

I assume you want to live longer and healthier? Then this isn’t a punishment — its a choice. Make an effort to sit with your calendar and block off the time you will use for exercise. Treat it as you would any other engagement in your day. Then stick with the schedule and let nothing get in the way. Of course, sick children, issues at work may interfere but you can always find another exercise time in the day. Do SOMETHING! You will feel better. Trust me.

Then review your food choices — moment by moment. Before you chow down stop, be grateful for your food and then ask “Will eating this bring me closer to my goal and ultimately, happiness?” If you have even a glimmer of doubt then don’t eat it.

Always go to the source inside before you tackle what others have for advice. Remember that there is no short-cut to fitness. Be persistent and keep at it. The same way you can’t count on your dental cleaning twice a year to keep your teeth healthy — exercise has to be a daily thing.

Be Well!

****Nancy Clark, MS, RD is Director of Nutrition Services at Sports Medicine Associates in Brookline MA. She is the author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Second Edition ($23) and her new Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions ($20). Both are available via http://www.nancyclarkrd.com or by sending a check to Sports Nutrition Materials, 830 Boylston St #205, Brookline MA 02467.

Zen of Weight Loss  How to Find Your Diet and Exercise Guru   A Conscious, Vigilant, Livable Approach to Fitness

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