Weight Loss Tips


Office Work?  Keep Moving!
It can be tough to stay active if you work in an office.  Let's face it, most offices encourage a sedentary day.  And sedentary days can lead to a few pounds gained here and there over time.  So what's an office worker to do to keep things moving and to shed those extra pounds?  Follow these tips:

  • Walk to work  if you can.  Or if you take the bus or train, get off a stop or two before your actual destination and walk the rest of the way to work.
  • When you drive, park further away from the building.  You can add a few minutes of walking throughout the day.  All these minutes add up to extra exercise, without going to the gym.  More calories burned!
  • Take the stairs.  A good rule of thumb is walk two flights down, and one flight up.  You'll save time, and before you know it, will have more strength and endurance.
  • Make your own lunch.  It's the best way to limit the calories you eat during the day.  Have a healthy snack with you, so you won't be hungry, when you walk by the break room, and see all those artery buster snacks laying around.  Really mean it, when you tell someone that you don't "care for any right now, thanks".
  • Get up often.  Go to the printer.  Pick things up or walk to someone's desk to ask something, rather than calling or e-mailing.
  • Figure out some gentle exercises you can do in your cubicle.  Necks rolls, shoulder shrugs, etc., can help you muscles feel better and de-stress you, as well.
  • Take a walk during your lunch hour.  It will allow you to get away from the pressures of your job, get some fresh air, and burn a few extra calories, as a bonus.
  • Wear you Body Toggs to work, for extra calorie burn, while you're doing all that additional movement.

Tips for Eating Out:

  • Order from the appetizer menu.  Still hungry?  Order a side salad, with dressing on the side.  Have one of the two items brought when everyone gets their meal, so you're not sitting there watching them eat.
  • Always eat foods prepared the following ways:  steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, boiled, grilled or baked.
  • Beware of anything including the words: cream sauce, oil, butter, au gratin, breaded, gravy, or battered-dipped.
  • Ask the server to wrap up half your meal before you start eating.  This will keep you from over-eating, and you'll have a meal for the next day.
  • Pass on the bread, chips, bread sticks, and baked potatoes.  Ask if you can substitute steamed veggies instead.
  • Ask the restaurant you're going to tonight to fax you their menu.  Decide what's on your diet before you go.  If you have questions about what you can eat, call the clinic and we'll help you make a smart choice that will keep you on the right track.  Better still, bring in your menus of your favorite restaurants, and we'll go over them with you.
  • If your family must go to a buffet restaurant, order your meal off the menu.  Even if you think you are being extremely good, you are likely to eat much more than you should.  Plus, when you order off the menu, you can take some home for lunch tomorrow.
  • Make sure you've eaten small amounts throughout the day of your dinner out, so that you don't arrive at the restaurant starving.  Eat an energy bar or small snack three or four hours before you expect to be served your meal in the restaurant.  Factor in the waiting time, when there's a plate of bread and butter beckoning you.  While you wait for your meal, drink a cup of warm decaffeinated tea, with Splenda in it, if you like (carry some in your purse).  It will satisfy your grumbling stomach, and make you less hungry when your meal arrives.
  • Don't forgo the social event of eating with your friends and family.  It will make you feel deprived and isolated, and make you yearn for the day when you are "off your diet".  Remember this is NOT a diet you are on.  This is a lifestyle change you are making, to improve your health and well-being.  This is how you're going to live your life from now on, sensibly and smart.  That's how you'll maintain your weight loss for years to come. 

Get A Dog!

  • Dogs demand lots of attention and energy.  They love to go on walks, and show  you where to explore.  If you listen to your dog's suggestions, they'll tell you when it's time to go out for a walk.  They might even bring their leash to you, as an added convenience!  And they don't mind if the weather is a little inclement, - rain, wind or snow, they'll get you out the door, and burning off a few extra calories.
  • Dogs are very social, and will introduce you to other people, who may or may not be out walking their dog, too.  You can count on your inquisitive and friendly dog to draw the attention of your fellow walkers.  This is a great way to strike up a casual conversation, and have more social interaction in your life.  If you are somewhat shy about starting up casual conversations with people you meet, the dog will break the ice for you.  If you have a mixed breed, then you can speculate with this new acquaintance about what kind of dog you actually have!
  • Dogs love to eat "people food".  Teach your dog to sit quietly beside you while you eat, and look lovingly at every bite.  As you approach the end of your meal, feeling satified, and start to think about whether you want to finish everything on your plate, or save it as leftovers, your companion's loving eyes will ask you to share the last bit of your food with them.  You'll eat less, and feel good about it!  This is especially true if you have just a little bit left, and have already decided that it's "not enough to save", and you hate to waste food.   Those little calories will add up over time.  After all, you've probably only gained your weight 5-7 pounds a year, if you're like most people. 
  • Many dogs love bread, rolls, potatoes and rice - those things that come with your restaurant meal that you no longer care to eat on your new healthy lifestyle plan.  When those items arrive with your meal, or (better) before they even arrive at your table, you can ask your server for a "doggy bag".  You'll feel good about not eating them while you were out, because your dog will be so pleased that you brought them one of those nice white Styrofoam boxes of treats.  My dogs start a happy dance as soon as they see me walk in the house with one of them.   You can mix the treats with their regular dog food, but adjust the amount you feed them.  You want your dog to be healthy and fit, just the same as you want for yourself.
  • Dogs love to participate when you are cleaning out your refrigerator.  You can make sure your refrigerator is a "diet friendly" place, for those times when your determination to succeed is challenged.  Make sure you don't give them any chocolate, as it is dangerous to dogs, who are very sensitive to caffeine. 
  • Dogs are great companions.  If you live alone, they will provide you with a welcoming party when you get home.  They can decrease loneliness and depression - two major causes of overeating.
  • Some bariatricians actually have dogs in their clinics a couple days a week.  These doctors have found that many of their patients go on to get dogs, with positive effects on their mental health and weight control success.

Here's one of mine.  No, I don't know what kind of dog he is - what do you think?

Diet Sabotage  (Yes, it happens.  No, you're not imagining it.)  What to do:

  • Let your co-workers, friends and family know that you've decided you want to get healthier.  You've decided to change the way you eat, in order to improve your health and well-being.  DON'T tell them you're on a diet.  Some of them may decide that you must be suffering, and they'll want to "help" you.  "Diet"  contains the word "die" in it, after all.  They love you and they don't want you to suffer.  By the way, my family has supported me 100% during my changes.  Mom even made me yummy cauliflower mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving (see me for the recipe).  
  • Practice this in front of the mirror, "no thank you, I don't care for any".  Mean it.  Be convincing.  My experience when I tell someone I "can't have any because it's not on my diet", is that I might hear, "oh, you can just have a little bit", or "it's really good, a little bit won't hurt you", or "this is a special occasion, you can go back on your diet tomorrow".  If I could stop eating those potato chips after just one, I probably wouldn't have ever had problems with my weight!  But what can they say when you say you don't care for any - "yes you do"? 
  • Human nature dictates that some people with have issues with you looking better, and feeling more confident.  They may feel threatened.  They may be jealous.  Understand this, and be prepared for the fact that not everyone will support you in your new lifestyle.
  • My response, when confronted with the box of doughnuts the drug rep brought in is to say, "no thank you, I don't eat doughnuts".  It's polite, and accurate.  Sometimes I'll ask them if next time they could bring in something healthier.  If they listen to you, maybe next time they'll show up with a tray of vegetables, and voila, you've got something healthy to snack on.
  • If you are repeatedly being tested by one individual, you may have to be frank with them.  Tell them that you are comitted to your health and new way of eating, and that you feel like they are trying to sabotage you with their temptations.  Tell them that you'd appreciate it if they didn't have to point out the birthday cake in the break room, and describe in detail how good it is.  You might have to do this more than once, it the person is determined to torture you.  Everyone has something that's hard to resist, no matter how comitted they are to making a change.  Don't stand for someone who clearly doesn't have your best interest at heart.  You don't have to be loud or rude;  but you also don't have to listen to it every day.  Once you have made yourself clear, the behavior will likely die out.
  • Your spouse - ah, this can be tough one.  Your spouse, or significant other, loves you just the way you are, especially your big backside.  They may have a level of comfort with your current appearance that may be threatened as you start to look and feel better.  They may fear that you'll leave them, or start to look around.  This is only natural.  When you change the status quo, you introduce new variables into the equation of your relationship.   You must reassure them that your intention is to live a healthier life, free of disabling diseases you may already be developing, or risk developing in the future.  Show them this page on the website:  complications.   Tell him your BMI, and show him where you are on the risk chart.  If this becomes an issue in your weight loss, then let me know, and we can work on trouble-shooting the problem.  Home is where you need support the most.
  • Your kids.  It's easy and simple to have unhealthy snacks in the home.  But, bear in mind that the risk of a child developing obesity doubles with a single obese parent, and is close to 90% if both parents are obese.  The incidence of childhood overweight and obesity is skyrocketing, with an alarming increase in the development of adult diseases in childhood.  We now have a disease called Adult Onset Diabetes of the Young, and it's rising in incidence every year. (The first time I heard of this illness a couple years ago, I was stunned.) Children initially learn their eating habits in the home.  They have plenty of time to learn about twinkies and such once they leave.  Also, bear in mind that the fat cells your children put on while living with you will be with them for their entire lifetime.  Teach them about healthy eating, and show them how to make it fun.  And if you're on the run, there are healthy choices that can be found in fast food restaurants.  Recognizing the increasing incidence of childhood obesity, many school districts are taking the initiative to eliminate vending machines in the schools, and are revamping their lunch programs to provide healthier foods.  While you're teaching them manners, and the difference between right and wrong, teach them how to live healthy!  If there isn't a bag of potato chips in the pantry, when you're tired and frustrated, and fed up with everything, you can't eat them.