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Axiom Weekly Motivational Email January 4, 2013

Weekly Tips

January is here and statistically 75% of you have a weight loss goal this year and only 20% of you will succeed. I bet the statistics are even higher (and lower!) for those who have had the same goals year after year. What makes us so great at setting a good intention and so bad at following through with our New Year's diet plans? What's worse, how does it affect us physically and emotionally when we put ourselves through this battle of the bulge year after year?

Jessica Bartfield, MD, a specialist in nutrition and weight management at the Loyola enter for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care says, "Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction. You're going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier." That is really great news to hear - dieting is hard, it takes practice, you will fail likely before you succeed. The take-away message is that you have to just keep trying.
There are reasons for dieting failures. See if you fall into any or all of these categories.

1. Underestimating Calories Consumed Each Day. Even experts have a difficult time judging the number of calories they eat or the amount of calories in foods they are served. The best way to get past this obstacle is to keep track of everything you are eating - including sampling, nibbling and drinking. Find a way to track your food that you will stick with and are motivated to use. Many people like using a free online program to track foods and the calories/carb/protein/fat numbers are automatically calculated for you. Check out myfitnesspal.com, livestrong.com, or get set up by one of our personal trainers with our dotFIT program. Successful weight loss clients are adamant about tracking! (Note: When tracking food you have to pay attention to portion sizes. Just writing down "cereal" means nothing. Writing "2 cups Shredded Wheat, 1 cup milk" is perfect!)

2. Not Knowing How Many Calories You Burn Each Day. Weight loss is generally attributed to 80% diet and 20% exercise so to reduce the amount of food you take in you really need to know your baseline caloric burn. In other words, how would you know how much to eat if you do not know how much you burn? Most people assume they burn about 300 more calories per day than they actually do. To lose one pound per week you need to burn off an additional 500 calories per day. If we assume we burn 300 more then our estimation and results are just floundering. For my clients, I recommend a combination of increased exercise and decreased food because it is easier to adhere to than just over-exercising or under-eating. (Nothing is worse that under-eating!) I also recommend wearing a metabolism-tracking armband. These nifty devices track metabolism, steps taken, sleep hours, minutes of physical activity, and nutrition. Ask your trainer or fitness director about our Exerspy armband.

3. Trying Too Hard. We all want to succeed in life and we definitely want to succeed at weight loss so we feel better, look better, and reduce disease risks. Losing weight is hard (can I get an amen?) but it is a process and it can be done. Jumping off of the starting blocks at 1,000 mph with 7 workouts a week and consuming only bird seed will ensure failure. Take a deep breath, understand that the weight did not come on overnight so it will not burn off overnight, and get the help you need. Start with food tracking and a meeting with a personal trainer to increase your accountability. Slowly make progress in any manner tha works for you. Celebrate your small successes and keep chugging along.
Don't forget that weight loss and perfect health do not happen overnight. It takes a month to create a healthy habit so stick with it and we will see you through it every step of the way.

Happy Friday!

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