Slowly Controlling Your Diet

A lot of people want an instant answer to their food issues. Something that will help them to eat more healthy foods without such a struggle over old favorites. But perhaps thinking slow and steady is a better way to go.

One of the first things you need to recognize are the things that cause you to eat too much. For some it’s stress, others boredom, others just simply have a lot of bad eating habits.

It’s important to recognize the areas that give you the most trouble. If you can either break the habit or find a healthier, lower calorie snack for those times, you could be on your way to controlling your weight. That can be a wonderful thing.

diet control

Of course, many people need help with this, which is why diet plans are so very popular. And there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help. If it were easy, we’d all be our own ideal weights.

The next thing is to recognize that you can’t always change all your habits in one easy shot. It often takes time. It definitely takes discipline. And if you leave yourself feeling too deprived, it will be easy for all your new control to be broken. Tiny steps are better for most people.

This can carry over into your fitness habits too. If you can convince yourself to start something as simple as a 15 minutes walk daily on your lunch break, you can build up into more fitness habits. Combine better eating habits with better fitness habits, and your overall health should improve.

Of course, there’s no saying exactly what results you will get. These things do vary by the individual, but if you’re eating better and working out, that’s an accomplishment you can be proud of.

Easy Family Exercise

Working out as a family is a generally good idea. It teaches the kids to build good fitness habits and can be very encouraging for the parents. It’s also a lot of fun.

Going to the park

I don’t mean for the parents to sit and watch while the kids play. Pushing kids on the swing can be a small workout for your arms. If you have two young enough to enjoy being pushed on the swing, you can do what I call ‘kid juggling’ and push one with each arm. If you get them going at the right rhythm, it’s pretty constant.

If the playground equipment is strong enough, you can climb and slide with the kids. Yes, it’s undignified. It’s also fun.

family exercise

Older kids can enjoy playing sports at the park. Kick a ball around, play a bit of baseball, whatever appeals to your family.

Go swimming

Well, probably not right now, in the middle of winter, unless you have access to a nice indoor pool. But once things warm up this is a great form of exercise.

The younger your kids are, of course, the more limited your own activities will be, but even with babies you can do a lot of exercise. Even jogging in place in a swimming pool takes some effort. So does swinging kids around in the water.

Walk, skate, ride a bike…

You get the idea. Whatever your family will enjoy doing together. The nice thing is that these can be done along your own street if you like, or you can venture further afield.

Play in the snow

It’s winter, and while exercising outside is a bit harder to do, taking advantage of the snow is a really fun way to do it. Bundle up and play in the snow if it’s in your local area, or drive out to enjoy it!

Kids can maker it harder to go to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out. Making the time for exercise as a family can be loads of fun.

Where Is That Perfect Gym For You?

Joining a gym is a great way to get access to some really incredible exercise equipment. For some people it’s a real motivator too. But they’re expensive in a lot of cases, and a lot of people hardly ever go to the gym they pay so much to be a member at.

How do you pick the right gym? There are several factors to consider.

1. Are you comfortable there?

If you’re just getting started, will it make you too self conscious to go to a gym where it seems like everyone has been working out heavily for years and years? The right atmosphere makes it much easier to go to a particular gym.

Some gyms are set up just for women, such as Curves. Some have rules against grunting as you work out. There are many factors to consider.

2. The right cost.

Many people have to think budget when they pick a gym. If you need low cost, I understand the YMCA has great prices. But if you want a different gym and cost doesn’t matter so much, pick one based on other criteria.

3. Your level of commitment.

If you aren’t committed to going to the gym, don’t bother joining one. Many people keep paying and paying for no benefit because they never go.

You may be able to increase your level of commitment by finding a buddy to workout with. Join the same gym or even different gyms if you’re just going to compare stats, and really push yourself to make it work.

4. Distance.

If you have to drive too far, will you really go? This is related to your commitment level, but the a long drive can mess with even the most committed.

5. The contract.

Read the contract carefully. If things don’t work out, some gyms have contracts that are utterly miserable to get out of.

Some gyms also have different levels of access, depending on your contract. You may be able to visit other locations, which is very useful on vacation. You may have access to childcare. Make sure the contract offers the features that you will value most.

There’s no one right answer for which gym you will be comfortable at. As you consider gyms, think about what it is you want from them. Take a tour and see if they have a trial period before you have to sign a contract. There’s nothing like experience to tell you if the gym is the one you want.

Can You Be Fit and Fat?

This is one of those things many people argue about. Some insist you can’t, and rely heavily on BMI as an indicator. But from what I understand of it, the BMI is really not an indicator of health or fitness.

I’ve long felt that one can be both fit and fat. I’m not a medical or fitness professional, just someone with a lot of opinions on the matter, but there it is.

You can see an indication of that in this abstract in JAMA. Fitness was the best mortality predictor, not weight.

apple on scale

That really doesn’t surprise me.

I’m not fat, except maybe by Hollywood standards. 5 foot 7 inches, 140 pounds. A BMI calculator puts me at 21.9, or midrange normal. But my sisters would generally fall into the overweight or obese sections of the BMI chart. But I think at least 2 of them are more fit than I am. It’s not that I’m in that poor of shape; it’s just that I suspect they’re in better shape.

To me this is something you should think about, especially if your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. A better resolution, perhaps, is to simply get more fit.

This is hard to deal with, especially when you go out into the real world, and all they see is fat. My sisters and I have had frank talks about this very topic. Back when we were all single, I had the advantage of being the thin one. But none of us were that worried about weight. We were having too much fun.

As you work towards your fitness goals, do your best to remember that fitness goals are in many ways better for you than weight goals. It’s not an easy change to make, but it could help you make more achievable goals.