January 9, 2020
I joke that I make the same resolution — to lose five pounds — every year.
This year, I really mean it. Really. The problem is, it’s not so easy.
I have motivation. My blood pressure has gone up quite a bit in the last couple of years. I haven’t gained weight, but I think if I can lose five pounds (about three percent of my body weight) it will help with the hypertension.
Losing as little as five pounds as many other benefits, ranging from healthier joints to a lowered risk of cancer. Your “good” cholesterol levels go up and the bad levels go down, and there’s more.
But how to do it?
I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by participating in “Dry January.” After all, if I average one 150 calorie drink a day, that’s well over a thousand calories a week. At about 3500 calories to the pound, cutting out alcohol should be good for at least a pound or two.
So far, mixed results. I haven’t been tempted to drink at all (I’m actually surprised how little I miss it) but I have a strong craving for sweet and/or salty foods. So I’ve actually gained a pound in the first nine days of January.
I’ve tried to reduce portion sizes and cut out any between meal eating, but these steps are not as easy as they sound.
Exercise? Well, I try to swim a mile every other day and hit the gym on alternate days. But I do sit around a lot, working at the computer or watching TV at night. So I can add some more activity, such as walking or pickle ball (went to a beginner clinic this week). I’m even thinking about taking up tennis again, although I haven’t played in years.
My experience has been, however, that caloric intake rather than caloric “burn” is the real key to weight loss.
And, of course, losing the five pounds is the easy part. Keeping it off is the real challenge.
I’m going to keep experimenting, trying to see what works and doesn’t work for me. Now, however, it is lunchtime.