Encouragement from local Katy area experts for having a successful, healthy weight loss journey
Written by Kirsten Cornell | Photos property of Katy Magazine
Katy, Texas News – In the midst of a culture obsessed with weight and physical attractiveness, it’s no wonder there’s a growing trend of fad diets and infomercials showcasing any number of do-it-at-home workout programs and exercise equipment. From the cabbage soup or lemonade diet to more founded routines such as Paleolithic and gluten-free, it’s no surprise that more Americans than ever struggle with weight loss. Katy Magazine sat down with local experts on the subject, to find out practical ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle and incorporate fitness into your daily life.
1. Plan of Action
Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle is one that involves your entire mindset. “You have to ask yourself ‘Why do I truly want to lose weight?’ The answer will give you motivation,” advises Carl Comeaux, owner of Premier Personal Training. “People who are motivated take action.” Create an action plan that implements new habits including a regular exercise routine and proper nutrition. “Keep it simple. Don’t think about the marathon before you take your first step toward exercising on a consistent basis,” adds Comeaux. Obstacles are inevitable – put strategies in place that will help you overcome them.
2. Set Goals
It is important to have goals, and to stick to them. Results always take time and setting realistic fitness goals will help you attain them. “Set two goals you want to accomplish in 12 weeks,” advises Comeaux. “Make sure they are goals with finish lines such as running a one-mile race or working out four days a week.” Many of those with large, abstract aims such as “losing weight” often find the process more frustrating. Having a goal with a clear end will help you feel more accomplished. “You will start automatically losing weight because you have changed your routine,” adds Comeaux. Celebrate your accomplishments with worthy rewards. Did you stick to your workout plan this month? Treat yourself to a massage. Lose that stubborn 20 pounds? Buy a dress in your new size. Rewards will keep you motivated to stay on course.
3. Building Good Habits
“We tell clients to focus on one habit per week to become successful at it,” says Comeaux. “By starting one step at a time, you will never feel like you’re starving, and you will see change.” Start keeping a nutrition log. This visual reminder of what you are eating will help you maintain a healthy diet plan. “A daily food and activity journal can help you keep on track with your weight loss goals,” says Danielle Steel, clinical director for Ageless Med Spa. “Weight loss isn’t just calories in and calories out,” explains Andy Garnett with Physicians Weight Loss Centers of Katy. “Nutrient dense plans are necessary so that you don’t feel hungry. Protein supplements increase your metabolism, preserve muscle mass, and increase overall energy.”
“Good habits include five servings of vegetables a day, two to three servings of fruit a day, 10 glasses of water daily, and stop eating three hours before you go to bed,” says Comeaux. “If you make good decisions 90% of the time, you can afford to splurge 10% of the time.”
A month-long effort will not sustain your long-term goals over the next 10 years. Formulating good habits will help you to be consistent and stick to your plan. “By exercising daily and eating lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, you will not only look and feel fantastic, you will reduce the risk of serious illnesses,” says Steel.
4. Get Moving
Now that you have a plan, get moving. Evaluate your schedule and goals to determine what will work best for you. “If you can only commit to four days a week, then that’s what you start out with,” encourages Comeaux. “Remember that your mindset needs to look at exercise as a lifestyle habit.”
“In the Houston area, we do a lot of sitting as a result of long commutes, desk jobs, or staying indoors because of high temperatures,” explains Garnett. “If we do not get enough activity to counterbalance calories, our bodies become fat storing machines.”
If you’re new to exercise and looking for an option you enjoy, utilize online programs in the beginning. These can range in everything from light weight-lifting to cardio kickboxing. Vary your routine to keep your body guessing. Try to actively incorporate activity into your everyday life. Park in the back of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a family walk after dinner. “There are many physical activities that can be enjoyed as a family such as walking, riding bikes, skating, or swimming,” suggests Steel.
5. Better Together
Share your fitness goals with a friend that can help keep you accountable. “Having a diet partner, someone to encourage you, is an important tool in any weight loss journey,” advises Garnett.
Surround yourself with at least five friends who work out and practice a healthy lifestyle. Being around those who are already making these life changes will encourage you to do the same.
On-the-go moms will especially find workout groups helpful. “Connect with other moms and get a babysitter two to three days a week to watch all the kids while you go work out,” suggests Comeaux.
Connecting with others will not only help keep you accountable, but will make working out fun and something that you look forward to doing. “Once you start feeling good from exercise, which takes around two months, you won’t be worried about your dedication anymore – the feeling will be too good to stop,” laughs Comeaux.
“Take your weight loss journey one day at a time,” advises Steel. “Before long, you will see great results and be on the road to healthy living.” KM
KIRSTEN CORNELL is the lead associate editor for Katy Magazine and looks forward to her nightly walks with her husband and two dogs.