Manageable Goals Key to Successful Weight Loss - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/08/06

Manageable Goals Key to Successful Weight Loss

On New Year's Day, did you make some promises to yourself? Now it's been more than two months. Have you stuck with your goals and pledges?

Some of the more popular New Year's resolutions involve losing weight or just eating right. The two go hand in hand of course, but can be easier said than done.

There are lots of ways to keep those resolutions. The hardest part is actually setting your goal. Figuring out what you hope to achieve, and how plan to achieve it. That's key to planning ahead for when you succeed, and knowing it's okay when you don't.

Darryl Cone of Savannah is on a mission: "To lose a lot of weight, I have a lot to lose. And keep it off."

Two hundred pounds to be exact. Cone is one of many who made resolutions to fight the fat and make healthier lifestyles for themselves.

"I want to be here," he said. "I don't want to be another statistic, I don't want to be a casualty. I want to be here."

Cone is determined, and like thousands of other people, he's trying to beat the bulge through exercising and by eating right. But like so many others, Cone admits it's sometimes hard to stay on the right track.

"Sometimes, I slip," he admitted.

Exercise specialist Jamie Cupples says most people overdo their New Year's resolutions, then get bored a month or two later with the same routine. She says variety is the trick to keep working toward your goal. "Get new exercises, try new things, try walking outside as a different way," she advised. "Change the environment, grab a buddy, try working out with them for motivation." 

And motivation is key, especially when it comes to eating.

Registered dietician Lisa Herzig says it's tempting to fall off the wagon and eat sweets or fatty foods. "If they're dining out, they need to make proper food choices," she told us. "They need to be able to evaluate the menu. They also need to be able to go to the grocery store. What kind of foods am I supposed to make?"

The trick is setting realistic expectations, sticking with them, and realizing your resolution isn't going to happen overnight.

"It's not about stepping on the scale and five pounds is gone," said Herzig. "It's about changing eating habits, exercise habits, and their lifestyle habits. This is a complete lifestyle makeover."

"The difference now is that I know if I slip, I can get right back on it," said Cone.

He has already lost 26 pounds and knows what his motivation is to be here for his kids--and himself.

"I always laugh about this one: if I get where I want to be, I won't wear a shirt for a year," he said.

And that's something else you can do. Set up rewards for yourself every time you reach a new goal. Do things in increments, like losing five pounds in two weeks. When you reach that goal, treat yourself to something new. Just don't use food.

Also, to change your eating habits, keep a food diary, and keep track of everything you eat, so you know how much you're eating and where you need to cut back.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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