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The "Secret" to Losing Weight

 

Devin Houston, Ph.D.

 

I know we are supposed to "weight" till after the holidays to worry about those excess pounds we've put on, but I'll go ahead and be a Scrooge anyway.

Americans are overweight and obesity is an epidemic.

I am asked quite often as to whether enzyme supplements can help one lose weight. Enzymes are designed to break down foods more thoroughly which allows more absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and calories in food. So, taking enzymes can actually cause weight gain IF one is not aware of how much is eaten.

We fill our plates by habit, we get caught up in the joy of holiday eating, and we don't want to offend by not eating everything on the plate. The result is an average weight gain of 3 to 5 pounds just over the holiday season. Multiply that by several years and by age 40 we are wondering how we lost our youthful shape!

Gyms and fitness centers will benefit in January as we resolve to lose the weight, but by March those resolutions are usually out the window.

I am in my 50s, love to eat, take enzymes, but my weight has remained steady over the last 12 years. What's my secret? I call it "The 10% Rule".

Cut your eating by 10%. 10% less on your plate (use smaller plates). 10% less sugar in your diet (cut out sodas, limit candy). 10% less starch (reduce breads such as toast and rolls). Stop feeling guilty about leaving food uneaten on your plate (that was difficult for me).

Increase your activity by 10%. Walk, even if it is just a little distance. Take the dog out for a walk. Do balance exercises - they use the smaller muscles which may not get used very much in daily routines.

Weigh yourself every day first thing in the morning. The daily feedback keeps you conscious of what direction your body is going weight-wise. You can then make adjustments.

My point is that even small changes in habits and lifestyle can make a difference over a period of time. Stepping on the scale to find that you've lost a couple of pounds will give you the encouragement to keep going. When you hit a weight goal, reward yourself that day, but don't slack off!

Good health is a blessing. Despite what you see on television, losing weight and keeping it off is not easy, but it doesn't have to be difficult either. It just calls for determination to be aware of what you are doing to your body.

- Devin Houston
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