Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Hello dear readers, It’s June and half of the year is almost gone. But we still have rain at times and it’s good for the grass and all the plants in our garden.  Although lately, it’s been getting to more sunny now, I’m sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors. June is a very important month for [...]

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Page added on January 28, 2014

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(Temporary) Diets Don’t Work!

If one of your new year’s resolutions for 2014 is to loose weight then (temporary) dieting will help you. But if you want to keep that weight off then don’t diet because it simply will not work. To be able to loose weight, keep the weight off, and maintain a healthy weight you need a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. A lifestyle change is a commitment that requires 95% willpower & determination and 5% preparation.

For the preparation part, you will need to know your healthy weight range for your height. This can be done using a BMI chart. Once you figure out your healthy weight range, you’ll know how much weight you need to loose. Now to loose that weight, you need a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Before breaking out that favorite Salad Dressing, you have to MAKE A PLAN. A lot of lifestyle change attempts do not make it past the 2nd week because there was no written plan. Your WRITTEN plan is your road map to get to your goal weight and stay there.

The first plan you will need is an EATING PLAN. It is best to meet with a dietician who can figure out a specific plan for you. Most health insurance plans cover the cost of a dietician consultation, but rarely do we use them. Call your insurance provider and ask about this benefit. Your dietician can also help make sure that you follow-through with your plan to get to your goal. If you choose not to utilize a dietician, you can create a meal plan on your own. It will take extensive research but with the internet at your fingertips it can be done.

The next plan you will need is an EXERCISE PLAN. If you have been living mostly a sedentary lifestyle, start slow. A brisk 15 minute walk around the block at least three times a week is a good starting point. However, with the weather we are having now in Alberta, that might be a difficult feat. There are other options you can consider. Do you have a gaming console, like Playstation, Xbox or Wii, laying around the house? How about playing a round of “Let’s Dance”? That would definitely provide your much needed cardio exercise. You can also choose to follow some exercise gurus in YouTube, it’s free! After about 3-4 weeks make sure to increase the time & difficulty level of your cardio exercise. It would also be a good idea to add some weight training to tone your muscles. You don’t need to have a gym membership to be able to do weight training. Weights can be bought at a lot of retail stores for cheap. Or you can use anything around the house as an alternative. That would be a good use for that can of soup sitting in your pantry!

Make sure that both the eating and exercising plan is written down. Make copies of the plans and place it in the areas where you mostly hang out around the house. The eating plan would be good to have in the kitchen, on the fridge door perhaps? While the exercise plan will be good to have near the couch or where you usually keep the TV remote. What next? Should you start following the plans you have created? Not so fast! You still have to run this by your family doctor. Having your doctor approve your lifestyle change plans and goals ensures that your body can tolerate the activities planned in the time frame you require. Since it is also the beginning of the year, it might be time for that annual physical anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone?

Now there is nothing left to do but to follow your plan and be on the road to your goal weight. Remember that any lifestyle change needs 95% willpower. So stick to it even when it is tough. Also, remember that it takes about 6 to 12 weeks to change or form a habit. Follow your plan religiously and eventually you’ll notice that it has already become a habit. Which means following the healthy lifestyle you planned will be automatic. Also, share your goals and triumphs with friends and family. A little word of encouragement goes a long way! Remember that maintaining a healthy weight not only boosts your self-esteem, it could also prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Overwhelmed, talk to your pharmacist. Your local pharmacist is your most accessible healthcare professional that can provide you with good advice. Some pharmacists also offer lifestyle change programs geared towards weight loss through behavioral therapy. So what are you waiting for?

Marie Klynne Brinas, BSc. Ind. Pharm., RPh-APA


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