All right, there is no need to admit it, but we all know that losing weight after years of allowing yourself to gain a few pounds here and there is harder than expected.
Once you start being honest with yourself and realize that the tire around your midsection isn't going away on its own, it's time to take your New Year's resolution seriously.
Sure, anyone can say that losing weight is their goal for the new year, but it may be difficult to stay on track and stick with it.
When aiming for weight loss, you should set a realistic goal, said C.E.O. of the Brazil YMCA, Chad Zaucha. Don't expect or try to lose half of your total weight over the year. Set goals that are achievable and make you feel good about yourself when you accomplish them.
Steer clear of fad diets and weight-loss pills. These lead to yo-yo dieting that can be detrimental to your health. Old fashioned exercise and healthy food choices are the way to go.
"There are no 'magic formulas' for weight loss. You must burn more calories than you consume. This calorie deficit is achieved by a combination of taking in fewer calories through diet and burning off more calories through exercise," said Angie Sagarsee, consultant dietitian at St. Vincent Clay Hospital.
"Weight loss is about healthy eating and exercise. It has to be a lifestyle change to be maintained," she said.
Sagarsee reminds people that the body needs vitamins, minerals and energy derived from eating carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
-Carbohydrates are a source of energy. Carbs offer a variety of important vitamins and minerals.
"For optimal health, choose a variety of whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrate intake should be 50-55 percent of total calories for the day," said Sagarsee.
-Fat is also source of energy.
Sagarsee warns people, "stay away from saturated fats and limit total fat to less than 30 percent of total calories for the day."
-Protein is needed to build and repair muscle tissue.
Sagarsee suggests that people, "Choose lean cuts of meats, poultry without the skins, fish, eggs, beans and lentils, and low fat dairy products. Protein intake should be 15-20 percent of total calories for the day."
Sagarsee also suggests to incorporate 30 minutes of moderate workout into daily routines.
"If thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity seems like too much, you can break it up into shorter bursts of activity like choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the dog instead of watching the dog walk, park further from the store entrance, walk with the family after dinner, just make sure it adds up to thirty minutes.
"Put some muscle into it. Strength training improves balance and flexibility, increases self-esteem, boosts metabolism and elevates your mood," she said.
The Brazil YMCA offers a wide variety of exercise equipment ranging from a free-weights to cardiovascular equipment. Other features of the YMCA include an indoor walking track, aerobics classes and a basketball court.
"The key to success is confidence. Goals are accomplished through a series of small steps and the hardest step to take is the first one," said Zaucha, in a press release. "Perseverance and commitment to change are the key elements to turning resolutions into reality."
Sagarsee recommends that you should talk to your doctor before beginning a vigorous fitness program.
Consult a physician or registered dietitian if you are unsure of how many calories per day that you should consume.