Get in Shape for Summer and Just Do It!

Summer is just around the corner and there aren’t too many of us who don’t have the urge to shed our winter coats. Weight loss for many of us is a full time job. At Pine Street we have a saying “Work Smarter not Harder”.  So this is what I would suggest to all of you for the next few months.  Weight loss is not rocket science, but the logic of calories in vs. calories out.  One pound of weight is equal to 3500 calories. So this means to just lose a pound a week you need to process 500 calories different a day.  Eat 500 less, exercise 500 more or do a combination of both. But you need to do it!


For the most part weight loss is 85 % eating and 15 % exercise. So this means change the 500 calories a day in eating and let the exercise be a bonus for your weight loss goal.  You need to look at portion sizes and read labels.  Remember the portion size and calories listed are all you should eat for the meal or snack. You should not eat from the bag or container.  Take the portion size and this is your allowable amount. To be successful at weight loss you also need to keep a diet diary. This helps hold your accountable to yourself for what you put in your mouth. With technology today keeping an eating diary is not as challenging as it has been in the past.  Weight Watchers even has an “APP” that you can scan the products bar code and it will tell you the amount of points allowed for that food.  My Fitness Pal is another great “APP” to utilize as you are trying to get into shape. Use the notes section on your phone to keep track of your daily intake. Again, you just need to do it!


Your plate should be at least half salad or vegetables and then 1/4 ¼ protein and 1/4¼ grain or starch if you must.  In my exam rooms I have a poster “Carbs are killing you “.  This poster discusses the breakdown process of starchy carbohydrates and how they are broken down and your body stores the metabolites as fat due to insulin production.  So eating less Bread, Pasta, Rice and Potatoes will dramatically improve your ability to lose weight. If you feel the need to eat a starch, try to eat a portion of protein first to get your metabolism started and then10 minutes later have your potion sized treat.  Another helpful calorie burning effort is to eat 4-5 smaller meals per day instead of two or three larger meals. Again your body is able to process these calories more efficiently and helps in your weight loss goals.  Water is the next piece of the puzzle.  If possible you should try to drink 4-6, 8 ounce glasses of water per day to hydrate and help keep you full.  Drinking a glass 30 minutes prior to each meal is also very helpful.


Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize that your belly is full? We all eat too fast. Our lives are busy and eating does not take priority. Try to eat slower and use that 20 minutes for the portion size allowed for that meal. If you are still hungry drink another glass of water at the end of the meal. If you are really still feeling hungry have a 100 calorie snack. Eating only at the kitchen table or lunch room table should also become a habit. Eating in front of your computer or the TV allows you to mindlessly continue to eat past the full signal.  Eat slower- Just do it!


Finally, you need to make time to exercise.  No one will say to you, stop what you are doing and take a walk or go to the gym.  You must schedule time to exercise just like you know your work day schedule.  Ideally, 20-30 minutes daily is the goal.  But be realistic and stick to your exercise routine. I have never asked anyone to exercise who have come back and told me they felt so horrible after I asked them to exercise. You will feel better.  SO JUST DO IT!

Happy Summer—– Dr. Lee Ann