It’s only January 2nd and I’m already sick of the constant ads and TV programs on weight loss, exercise and diets. They do this every year so I don’t know why I’m always surprised and turned off. Oh, I know why they run: it’s the start of the new year, people make resolutions to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise – so the media blanket the airwaves with ads for Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, bariatric surgery, an assortment of weight-loss pills, exercise equipment, gyms, etc. Bravo ran a marathon of The Biggest Loser on New Years Day as an alternative to watching football.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that people are motivated and it’s the perfect time to grab their attention. But with so many different products and plans all pushing the same points, it’s hard to keep track of the options in a reasoned way. Which is entirely the point, I suspect. Get the watcher to jump off the chair and sign up on the spot.
But all plans are not equal and neither are gyms and exercise programs. If you’re just getting started on your resolutions, don’t jump for the flashiest ad or cheapest price. Research the contents and figure out what will work best for you in your lifestyle. Are you looking for a quick loss or long term change? Do you want to count calories, carbs, fat grams, points? Do you like and have time to cook or do you want easy pre-packaged foods? If you’re looking at exercise programs, do you want to take classes, use weight and strength training equipment, or dip into a pool? Do you want a personal trainer? How does pricing work? What about fitness tapes you can do in your own home?
The bottom line solution is to eat less food, eat healthier options (more protein and less processed foods), and move more. There are many ways to do that but you don’t need to pick something flashy. Write down what you eat every day so you know what you’re doing. Identify things you can cut or swap out. Start taking short walks and build up. What matters is starting.