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Move More, Eat Less
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In my pre-parenting life, I needed no theory on weight loss or the prevention of weight gain. I spent my considerable free time training for triathlons, which meant copious amounts of swimming, biking, and running each week. This high level of activity meant that I could (and did) eat pretty much whatever I wanted. Needless to say, those glorious days are over.

Not only am I now older and sporting a slowed metabolism, but I also lack the time to exercise the way I used to. Furthermore, my hearty appetite failed to morph along with my exercise regimen. I still loved to eat! I finally admitted that I could not eat anything and everything and still expect to be thin when the most exercise I got during the day was picking up toys. At that point, I knew I needed a weight loss theory.

My theory is not new—I’m sure you’ve heard it before. It is simply this: Move more, eat less. No special diet or exercise plan to follow, no calorie counting, nothing to burn out on and give up on after a couple weeks. I just try to follow a few common sense rules as best I can.

A Few Common Sense Rules

1. No eating late at night. It seems like those late night calories do the most damage. I find that brushing my teeth immediately after supper reduces my temptation to snack in the evening.

2. Stop before you’re stuffed. Even though eating with reckless abandon always sounds like fun, it rarely ends well. I know my body does not need a large volume of food, and it is best if I push back my plate when I am satisfied rather than stuffed.

3. I know there are going to be certain culinary temptations or dining occasions to which I simply cannot say no. That means I need to walk away from as many of the other unhealthy choices as possible. “Save up” for the occasional splurge.

4. Indulge in fresh, simple, unprocessed foods. Choose whole grains over white or refined. Use discretion as you peruse the grocery aisles and the restaurant menus.

5. Exercise whenever you can. Try to workout on a regular basis, and create exercise opportunities as a part of your daily life. Walk or bike instead of drive when possible. Choose stairs over elevators, far parking spots over close ones, and standing over sitting. If you realize you’ve been sedentary for a while, get up and do something active—even something like chores. (I realize this may be tricky for people with desk jobs, but do your best and be creative. It doesn’t matter what the activity, the goal is simply to move more.)

6. If you must watch that television show, at least get off the sofa and hit the floor for some sets of push-ups or sit-ups. During the commercials, jump up and see how many tasks you can accomplish before the show resumes.

7. Realize that you will have bad days and make bad choices. Rather than give up, determine to start anew tomorrow. Your body will thank you for it.

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By Hannah Henry. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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