When you write about health, many emails come across your desk promising a new and can't-miss weight loss plan -- especially in January. But do any of them actually work? That's always a thought, and honestly I carry a good deal of skepticism.
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 194 pounds
Here at SheKnows, we decided to test one after an email came across promising "10 Tips to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month." Being 10 pounds lighter would be amazing. Did you know that five pounds of fat is roughly the size of a football? Crazy but true. I would love to be two footballs lighter next month.
The truth is that I am overweight by about 45 pounds, and I need to do something about it. After two pregnancies and a very stressful year, I've reached a way-higher-than-I'm-comfortable-with weight. I am uncomfortable and want to fit into my favorite clothes again. I am ready to shed some serious weight.
The 10 tips
These are the 10 tips I will be following, provided by a spokeswoman for DailyBurn.com.
Drink a protein shake
Goodbye whole-grain toast and eggs! I'll be trading my normal breakfast for a protein shake. (Um, yay?) Why? "Eating protein in the morning will help you stay full and satisfied until your next meal," reads the tip list.
Everyone should be doing this one. It's no secret that hydration is important, so I'll be upping the ante on my daily water-drinking — starting with two glasses first thing in the morning.
So, there's this workout plan called Inferno. It's a new high-intensity fat-burner workout program from DailyBurn.com. And I will be doing it. According to the tip sheet? "Fitness trainer Anja Garcia will take you to your limit and then push you past it. In just 21 days, you’ll see your muscles start to pop as your fat melts away." Oh my.
Get off the cardio machines and start strength training
I've always tried to do a mix of cardio and strength training, but truth be told I find strength training boring, so I totally dread it. But the plan says this is important so I'm totally going for it. The reasoning makes sense: "To lose weight, you want your body to become inefficient in a sense, because you want your body to burn your own fat for fuel." Burn, baby, burn.
Turn off your computer/TV one hour before bedtime
Confession: I have a hard time falling asleep without the TV on. My family has been through a lot in the last few months, and the noise helps me shut out my thoughts. But I am going to give this a try since it promises some good things: "Quality sleep helps aid in muscle recovery and fat metabolism."
According to the plan, snacking is just fine (Yay!) as long as you are snacking on nutritious things — like nuts, veggies and hummus instead of candy and chips. That I can totally do.
Don’t eat in front
of a screen
When I read this one, I was tempted to pretend I didn't see it. I am all about the multitasking, so lunch is often eaten while working (in front of the computer), reading (hello, Kindle!) or watching a little daytime TV (GH! My favorite!). But apparently that makes you not pay attention to what you are eating. "Visual cues help your body regulate how much you should eat."
Feel the difference between craving and hunger
When you've been stress eating (which admittedly I am guilty of), you forget the feeling of hunger — which is actually a pleasant and affirming thing (ahem, you should totally feel hunger). But cravings? Those are different — and they need to be controlled (something I have never been great at). "You feel true hunger in your stomach, but you feel cravings in your brain. Just because you want to eat something doesn’t mean that your body is truly hungry. Learn to distinguish between the two and you’ll discover that most of your mindless eating is to satisfy emotional cravings."
Like water, fiber is one of those important and necessary things. "Fiber helps flush out your digestive system by keeping food moving through your intestines. It also acts as a scrubber to your intestinal wall, along with adding bulk in your intestines, which helps move food along." So somewhere in there, I need to get more of it.
This one is pretty easy, honestly, since this plan presents so much of a challenge for me. And that's good: "Your body will never shed weight it if feels comfortable." No worries there.
Ready to start
One of the reasons I was so excited to get started on this is that I am accountable to you, the lovely readers. I know you'll be looking to see how this goes — and I hope that the results will delight us all. And we're off!
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