Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Combating Unwanted Weight Gain

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Have your weight loss efforts led to an increase in body weight? Don’t let this happen to you …

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. This is especially true if weight loss is a main motivator and results are not achieved in our timeframe (like yesterday). A mindset adjustment and a little professional insight often is all you need.


1. Stop the Food Rewards. A fitness session is not a permission slip to indulge in unhealthy foods. It is common to assume a workout burned more calories than it actually did. Before you reward yourself with a sundae, determine the amount of activity required to burn it off. Thirty minutes on the treadmill, albeit with lots of sweat, probably will not negate a dish of ice cream with toppings.

Try to determine a food’s exercise equivalent rather than its calorie count. Weight-loss experts suggest this insightful approach to dieting is more successful. You’ll know exactly what is required on the Fitness Floor to “undo the damage.”

candy-corn-picIn the Halloween spirit, here are some helpful (or not) treat-to-exercise ratios:

Candy                                   Burn-off    

8 pieces of Starburst candy                      50 minutes of Pilates

3 milk chocolate mini-bars (190 cal)      59 minutes of moderate weightlifting

1 roll of Smarties (25 cal)                          6 minutes of treading water

2 king-size peanut butter cups                33 minutes of running 10-min-per-mile

One good workout is not permission to reward with food.
One good workout is not permission to reward with food or a week of channel surfing.


2. Avoid Extremes. Fitness does not have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Even if you skip your Step class, you can still go for a short swim or take a walk. Be flexible. Allow yourself some easy workouts.

If you spend two days a week doing a Boxing Bootcamp, and the other five behind a desk all day and channel surfing all night, your efforts won’t be very effective. Your confidence and motivation will plummet. Those two high-intensity workouts are challenging and require big effort. You want skinny-jeans results, but may actually gain a pound. Go for consistent workouts throughout the week—even if none are vigorous sessions.

3. Watch Your Plate. A hearty workout can bring on a hearty appetite. Fuel your fitness sessions with worthy food choices and proper serving sizes. Keep the healthy vibe going with a nutritious snack or meal packed with the protein and carbs needed to replace essential nutrients used during exercise. Smart post-workout food choices also help the body recover better from the physical exertion expended—and increase your fitness success.

Accomplishing and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of exercise and healthy eating habits. Consider meeting with a nutritionist to help customize a meal plan that complements your fitness goals


Monitor all aspects of your fitness progress, not just weight loss.
Monitor all aspects of your fitness progress, not just weight loss.

4. Ask for Help. If you consistently exercise and follow a healthy diet but still have not lost weight, investigate. Speak with your physician for possible medical reasons for your weight issues.

Then, share your goals and concerns with a personal trainer. S/he can customize a fitness program to specifically target your goals. Professional insight helps find your quickest way to a healthy weight. Combined with the Center nurse’s quarterly evaluations (free to members), you have the monitoring and support needed to improve your results. This monitoring reflects improvements not visible on the scale, including increased muscle mass. 

5. Congratulate Yourself. Regardless of your body weight, a commitment to exercise is praiseworthy. You gain many physical and mental benefits. If you gain an occasional pound, you are still healthier because of your workouts. And that occasional pound may be multiplied if you did not exercise at all.



“Halloween Candy: Is It Worth It?” by Amanda MacMillan at self.com.

Image Credits

Sundae: pixabay.com/en/ice-cream-sundae-ice-dessert-glass-357972/

Halloween candy: pixabay.com/en/candy-corn-candy-halloween-treat-1726481/

Couch: pixabay.com/en/reading-couch-relax-sofa-indoors-1142801/

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