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Aim small, miss small:

There is an old maxim among sharpshooters known as “Aim small, miss small”. This means that the more you can define and hone in on your target, the less likely you are to miss it. In other words, if you aim for a shirt pocket button and you miss it by a small fraction, you are still going to hit your target. The lack of any such rule is one of the biggest reasons that so many people fail in their efforts to lose weight. Everybody wants to shed those excess pounds on occasion but they way that they go about it makes it almost inevitable that they will ultimately fail with their weight loss goals and objectives.

For instance, if someone has a goal of losing ten pounds a week and they only lose five pounds one week, they may consider that a failure. Many of them will try to “make it up” by losing fifteen pounds the very next week instead of shooting for the ten pounds they already failed to make. This generally sets them up to fail by an even larger margin and grow even more discouraged. That in turn will make them substantially more likely to quit before they have even reached their primary weight loss objective. Forget about keeping it off once they get there, they are never going to finish the journey in the first place.

Now take a look at the person who has smaller goals…and may even miss them on occasion. Suppose someone had the goal of losing five pounds every two weeks. That is a goal to lose mere ounces of weight each day. Suppose that they still continually miss that goal and continue to aim for the same small goal knowing that they may not reach it. Suppose that they are only able to lose one pound a week … far short of their goal. Over the course of the year, this person has still managed to lose over fifty pounds and they are going to be much more likely to succeed than if they had tried to “make up” for weight gained back or not lost in the first place.

Goals:

By setting small goals and not looking at the big picture, they have greatly increased their chances of ultimate success. By maintaining those small goals rather than adding up the excess on top of the original (and often unattainable) goal, they have continued to strive towards one small mark. Even failing to reach that small goal, they have managed to continually lose weight and are not lost in desperation or quitting out of frustration. They know that the goal is attainable and they may or may not know why they are not reaching it but by keeping it small, it is less of a burden and much less imposing.

Do not set out to lose one pound each day and expect to always meet your goals. Work rather on smaller goals and if you miss them, do not add to them later on. Keep your goals small and your misses will be small as well. Set out to lose only a realistic amount of weight in a limited amount of time and you can continually reach all of your weight loss goals without the shame, embarrassment or frustration that so often leads to quitting, failure and a host of people saying “I told you so”. When it comes to the battle for weight loss, aim small and miss small and you will still hit your targets and ultimately, win the battle of the bulge.

The obesity rate in America is at it’s all time high. Many people find it hard to make time for exercise and proper nutrition and due to the economic state our country is in, many people are dealing with so much stress that living a healthy lifestyle is the last thing on their minds. And don’t forget about our children either. Many children are not getting outside and playing like I use to remember. Instead they are in front of a television playing their favorite video game and probably consuming some unhealthy calories that their non-active bodies didn’t need. And if anybody does find time to get some form of exercise they usually get stressed out after a few weeks because their bodies aren’t responding the way they’d hoped it would. So how do we go about getting back in shape and taking control of our health again?

First start making a goal and reflect what it is you want to accomplish or what is going to be the most important reason you want to start getting a little more active or eating healthier. Once you determine why you want to start making time for a healthier lifestyle then you want to start making a schedule so you commit yourself to this schedule every week. Make sure to include your work schedule, time with the family, and personal time so that every hour isn’t wasted and the plan is compatible with everything else in your life.

Now lets take a look at the most important principle most people get wrong and very stressed about and in most cases give up being healthier all together: Nutrition. Eating healthier does not, let me repeat myself, DOES NOT, mean you have to go on some boring diet eating like a rabbit. Diets do not work. When a person diets, especially on some fad diet, they do get results but in most cases when the person comes off the diet the weight comes back. Usually the person also has to deal with stress and loss of energy due to specific diets out there. I truly believe if you feed your body the way it was meant to be fed then everything else will fall into place. What I mean by this is to create a meal plan structured around lean proteins, fresh raw vegetables, fresh raw fruits, nuts, healthy cooking oils and some health supplements. And once you determine these basics I would determine how many calories you will need at your specific weight to start the weight loss path. And no I don’t mean you have to start counting calories.
What I do mean is that you have to determine how much new activity you are going to start doing. You could start off with fast walking around your neighborhood for 45 minutes 4 times a week. Or you might want to join one of the local health clubs in your area. Whatever the exercise might be try to determine how much of it you are willing to set apart time for each and every week. Once you do that you could search the web for a free calorie counter that will tell you how many calories you will need to start losing weight based on your sex, height, weight, and activity level. It will do all the computing for you. When you get your first calorie goal then you can plan your foods. Pick healthier foods you already enjoy eating. Once you start eating these foods make sure to get in small more frequent meals every few hours. I would create a food log and just jot down the actual meals you ate. Don’t worry about counting calories, carbs, or proteins. At the end of the day go to the free calorie counter you found on the web and input your meals to make sure you got the amount of calories you needed for the day. Make sure you don’t under eat as the body will hold onto the calories it didn’t get. That’s why the people who think eating twice a day never lose the weight they want.

After you start getting the hang of this simple practice it will seem like second nature to you. I assure you this is not hard and if you need extra help you can contact me. I’m more than happy to help. This week I will be submitting a few more pieces that tie into this piece about weight loss. If you follow what I’m saying I promise that in the next four months you will have lost more weight than you ever have and your health will be 100 times better than what it use to be. So get out there and take control of your healthy new life. You can do it!

green-tea

Green Tea for Weight Loss

Over the past few decades, several new pills and alternative remedies have cropped up claiming to provide amazing effects to those trying to shed a few pounds. While the legitimacy of some of these treatments is questionable, one concoction that has shown definite, proven results is Green Tea.

Originating in China, Green Tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant by a special processing technique that uses minimal levels of oxidation. Today, Green Tea is grown and manufactured in many countries. Hence, there are several varieties available for purchase, each claiming to have a benefit of its own. Some of these include Chinese, Japanese, tea from Ceylon, and so on. However, various health benefits seem to be experienced by drinkers of Green Tea in general, irrespective of the type used. Research shows that some of these benefits include reduced chances of heart disease and certain types of cancer, lowering of blood sugar, and of course, easy weight management.

Green Tea contains quantities of caffeine and Catechin polyphenols, the combined effect of which increases the rate of oxidation of fat cells. Simply drinking caffeine from coffee would not produce results to the desired effect. Also, high levels of blood sugar in the body can cause unnecessary cravings for food or hunger at odd timings. Since Green Tea is known to regulate blood sugar levels, it indirectly reduces the tendency to crave certain types of fatty foods. A cup of tea before meals greatly helps in curtailing over-indulgence while eating.

There have been several debates over the quantity of Green Tea consumption per day. A lot of research has gone into this topic, yielding a wide variety of theories and results. While some researchers argue that two to three cups a day should be sufficient to produce the desired results, some maintain that more than ten cups need to be consumed in a day for the body to receive the desired amount of polyphenols. Overall, an average of three to five cups of day may be considered as an appropriate quantity.

Then there is the tricky part of brewing Green Tea. If brewed incorrectly, a poor quality of tea is produced that is bitter to taste. This usually happens if it is brewed with excessively hot water, or is steeped for too long a time. The temperature of water to be used and the time of steeping vary with the type of Green Tea being used, and it is best to rely on the manufacturer’s guidelines. Incase these are unavailable, there are a few basic tips to keep in mind while making Green Tea.

First and foremost, never use boiling water to prepare the tea. The temperature of water can vary from 165-170 degrees F. Start off with cold water, bring it to a boil and then allow it to cool for two to three minutes till it reaches the desired temperature. Then pour the water over the Green Tea leaves or tea bag in a cup. You may use 1 tsp or 1 tea bag per cup of water. Allow it to steep for no more than 2-3 minutes during which there must be no stirring of the tea. After about 2 minutes, drain out the tea leaves or in case of a tea bag, remove it. Allow it to cool for a further of 2-3 minutes before consumption. It is best not to add any sugar or honey to reap the maximum of health benefits from the tea.

It usually takes a few times of brewing before understanding the correct procedure for the type of tea you are using. Once you get it right, however, you will be able to identify the unmistakable aroma and flavor of Green Tea.

While it is true that drinking Green Tea greatly aids the burning of fat in the body, it must be remembered that this is only one technique or tool and will work wonders when combined with the correct diet and work out plan to achieve your target weight.

Fighting the Fat with Fitness

Fighting the Fat with Fitness

Living a Healthy Lifestyle in College

Generally, being a college student is somewhat time-consuming to say the least, and I’m probably understating that. Granted, you normally have to go to class (surely, I hope), study (again, hopefully) and many of Ohio Staters are usually involved in something. With the way the economy is and the rising cost of being a Buckeye these days, I’m pretty sure a campus job of some sort is part of that good for keeping-my-head-above-water financial plan of the present, but this column isn’t about that. No, actually one of the biggest concerns in America is the state of everyone’s fitness, and it seems that while good habits can go awry early in life (with diabetes and obesity at record highs in adolescent children), many young people don’t apply themselves further when they know that they can treat themselves better.

College kids can sometimes live a hard life, in the sense that their sense of time and organization isn’t always on point. Parties, all-night study sessions, extracurricular obligations and for certain students, having demanding concentrations and majors can zap your time to the extent that you don’t even think of hitting the gym for a nice little workout.

Planning:

Planning has a lot to do with your keeping healthy, and allocating your time well with your scholarly duties plays a big part in being healthy.

Food also plays a big part in how well you feel. The MarketPlace and various Commons areas on campus, as well as Oxley’s Café, are many times conveniently placed around the “hot spots” of the Columbus campus, but aren’t always known for their healthy food that’s available. Of course, the stereotype of the typical college student has he/she eating slop for the vast majority of the day, but it really it’s about eating smart and knowing what eat and when to eat it. Because of how vast the campus is, there’s something to be said about grabbing a bite to eat when you can get it, because students are many times far enough away from campus restaurants and High Street that when the stomach starts to growl, anything edible is the best thing to consider. While that’s not true for everyone, it is true that the way you eat is somewhat dependent on where you live. Senior Amanda “Mandy” McCann has personally found that the difference between being an “on-campus” student versus living off-campus can be drastic in the way a person’s dietary habits might change.

“My first couple of years, (I was on the) Meal Plan,” said McCann, a film studies major. “One must go out of their way to get healthy food or better yet, healthy portions on campus. Once I moved off of the campus and started cooking for myself, I began to eat a much healthier, well-rounded diet. Similarly, I generally lacked motivation to work out, however this (winter) quarter, I have been factoring it into my daily routine just like work and class. Making it seem like a task I have to do makes it easier to go.

“Right now, (I’m doing) cardio three times a week for 45 minutes. If I’m feeling good that week, I’ll throw in Pilates a couple of times, too. My diet is quite healthy, mostly fresh fruits and veggies. Fish twice a week, walnuts, spinach and blueberries are what I’ve been living by lately…and soy products.”

What Mandy didn’t say was that she lost over 20 lbs. a few years before cutting pop out of her diet altogether and instead, going with 100% juice to start out her days and keep good energy when she wasn’t able to get to food at good times.

So you have time management in hitting the gym and good dietary habit in the bucket, but one other major component is a HUGE part of really hitting the point home in acquiring and maintaining good health and fitness, and that’s sleep. Various studies within the recent past have showed that good sleep helps your body fully recover from stress, aids in good digestion and keeps your mind sharp; with respect to sleep studies performed across the United States, one negative point worth mentioning is that the lack of sleep actually informs the body to produce a certain chemical that encourages sleep-deprived people to eat more, which isn’t such a good thing if you’re already getting your 4-6 recommended mini-meals a day. In short, get your 7-10 hours and be merry, kiddies.

Sometimes, putting it all together-keeping active, managing your time effectively, eating right and giving yourself the necessary hours to sleep-can be a huge task to think about undertaking, but actually committing to what’s in your best interests is probably the best thing to think about and do, instead of living on the false idea of being perfect when it comes to being healthy. If you have the right idea (and coincidentally, a fit-friendly discipline in college), you can achieve such a lifestyle, not unlike another recent graduate of The Ohio State University.

“I slept 7-8 hours almost every night, I ate a pretty balanced diet of 3 meals a day and 1 snack,” said Andrea Keller, a Toledo native, who graduated in the 2008 autumn quarter. “I ate mostly fruits, veggies, lean protein, with the occasional goodies. Each quarter my eating would change slightly in terms of the times, and I did not always sit down and eat my entire meal; sometimes it would be a sandwich at noon and then fruit at like 1 p.m., it just depended on class schedules and such. In terms of fitness, I am an Exercise Science major, so I worked out every day either in the RPAC, riding my bike on the Olentangy trail, or participating in activity courses through OSU,” said Keller, a former victim of several major knee injuries and a current outpatient rehabilitation patient.

“Obviously during exam weeks, the gym sometimes got skipped, as that was always the first thing to go when I was short on time. My eating would also change a little as I indulged in take-out, which I never normally do, but being short on time it seemed like the best option…most of my free time was spent being active. If I wasn’t studying, I was playing sports, taking a walk, or just enjoying the outdoors.”

Not so long ago, a slightly younger Sandy Dover was on the campus and getting up at 7:30 am to work out at Jesse Owens South twice a day, doing strength training and cardio sessions–not because it was easy, but because I knew it was great for my health and I worked it around my classes. Most of the time, I was doing it somewhat grudgingly and I was being playfully teased by my best friends for how I allotted my time-but I knew the payoff was worth it. It wasn’t always easy to eat every couple of hours either, but keeping my metabolism up helped my energy levels and my general well-being (with much of my patience being tried at the aforementioned Marketplace waiting for Asian stir-fry, for what probably amounts to days spent in line over four years. But I digress…).

In the end, if you want to feel better, if you want to be more alert, and if you want to have a generally improved disposition in life, I’d suggest that you take charge of your health. You might be saying, “I’m young!” or “Man, I don’t have time for this…” or even “I’ve got bills to pay! And that’s real!”, but it’s about keeping yourself well for the future, and in a world that’s suddenly getting darker and even less certain in these present times, it’s best to take control over what’s dearest to most people later in life, which is your health, and to start as early as possible.