Albright College


A Resolution That Works

In the spirit of the new 2011 year, there tends to be unrealistic resolutions set about our health, finances, time, and so on; perhaps the most common is weight loss, which nearly 45% of Americans hope to achieve this year, according to an ABC News Poll. But diets that promise incredible results with minimal effort, or that seem too good to be true, usually are. If dieting is done smartly, with the right intensions, and coupled with proper exercise, there is no reason why you should not see great results to your body, mind, and overall energy.

Crash diets and starvation will never work as a good way to lose weight and keep it off. Though their results would be very evident, the weight will never stay off and the amount of tissue and muscle damage that result can cause irreversible, lasting harm. For teens especially, one-third of the weight lost is muscle - particularly the lean muscles which help burn calories - not fat like you might think (WebMD).

The most successful way to shed pounds involves your increase in activity and slight decrease in calorie intake; though it is important to remember that any diet change can be easier, if you take slow, small steps. Something as simple as cutting the amount of junk food you consume daily, weekly, or monthly, can add up overtime to make a great impact in pounds lost. Experts in nutrition have found that, in most cases, the frequency of eating such as with six smaller meals daily may have the best impact.

The following are other simple and effective approaches to dieting:

  • Eat breakfast; something small to start off your day can even increase your performance in school not to mention keep you from over-feasting later in the day.

  • Don’t forget about hydrating; water is great for you and your body, drink more of it! For a normal day’s worth of activities, many experts recommend at least 8 glasses at 8 ounces each.

  • Avoid skipping meals; the loss of calories and mounting hunger is more likely to have you turn to the unhealthy snacks later in the day.

  • Have more color; vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are great disease fighters not to mention high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants with an additional bonus- they’re low in calories!

  • Watch your alcohol intake; too much of it is either “empty” calories or extra sugars, thus limiting your consumption of alcohol never hurts.

Proper weight loss takes hard work accompanied by some time. Junk food makes up nearly one-third of the total calories in a typical American diet; cutting or controlling that along with cardio of at least 30 minutes a day, on most days, can show you some of the greatest results. Improper dieting can have drastic results from the development of eating disorders to the damage of vital muscle and tissue.

In most cases, going through this with a friend can have the best results; sharing resolutions and ideas can really help to motivate you. If you or a friend have any questions or concerns about dieting or the approaches you are taking, do not hesitate to contact the Gable Health and Counseling Center at (610) 921 – 7532 for more information; as well, appointments with Jill Zelinsky (RD, LDN, Registered Dietician) can be scheduled through x7532.

The above information is compiled from various sources, including WebMD and the American Dietetic Association web site.

- Nicole Kelly ‘12

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