Losing weight is a change of lifestyle

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Frances Kriss
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to lose weight and that's why starting the month of January, the fitness center is unusually packed.

However, as weeks pass by, that number slowly dwindles down to the individuals who have stuck to their resolutions.

The reason why most individuals fail to keep their resolution is that they don't see quick results.

However, losing weight does not happen instantaneously and there isn't a shortcut. It is a change of lifestyle and those who really want to lose weight must realize this.

The first step is to set a realistic goal. Don't expect to lose too much weight too fast because it's unhealthy.

There are two big lifestyle changes you must make in order to shed some pounds. One is exercise and the other is eating a well-balanced diet. In my experience, you need to do both in order to be successful.

Individuals must exercise at least three times a week between 30 to 60 minutes at a target heart rate between 60 to 70 percent of the maximum.

Working out doesn't just mean going on cardiovascular machines like the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bicycle. It also means incorporating strength training like weight machines.

At first, I was afraid to even enter the weight room because there were so many machines and I didn't have a clue where to begin, but there were instructions included on most of them and the fitness center staff was always willing to show how to use them.

While exercising is an obvious element in losing weight, having a well-balanced diet is also important.

According to the website (http://www.mypyramid.gov), you must consume less calories than your daily caloric intake in order to lose weight. There are several calculators available online to help you figure that number out.

Eat at least three ounces of whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, a variety of fruits, low-fat or fat-free milk products, low-fat or lean meats and limit solid fats.

It's also a good idea to read nutritional facts located on most food products. Look for foods that are low in fats, cholesterol and sodium. Pay attention to serving size as well.

For example, if you're eating crackers and one serving size is 15 crackers, then count them out and put away the container to prevent yourself from overindulging.

These techniques have helped me lose weight, but I'm not a health professional, so consult your doctor prior to starting a weight loss regime. I also took advantage of several resources available at the Freedom I Fitness Center as well as the Health and Wellness Center.

Remember that exercise and eating healthy are two big lifestyle changes you need to make in order to lose weight. If you make these a permanent part of your life, it will be worth it when you see results in the end.