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A Healthier 2011

S Caron By

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Are you making a health-related New Year's resolution this year? If you are like many people (myself included!), then the answer is probably yes.

Honestly, these last two months have been a little dicey for my weight. I totally gained the holiday weight that everyone talks about – and it doesn’t help that I already had some to lose.

Turns out though that I am not alone. On a recent conference call with journalists, Dr. Mehmet Oz explained that holidays are the biggest gain time of the year. “Most Americans gain most of the weight they are going to gain over the holidays, and we generally don’t lose the weight we gain,” says Oz.

I don’t want to fall into the “generally” category with my gain though. My goal? To lose 40 pounds … before my good friend Cate O’Malley of Sweetnicks. (For the record, I didn’t gain 40 pounds over the holidays this year … I have some remaining marriage and baby weight to say goodbye too as well.)

Cate and I decided in early December that we’d shed our last 40 or so together – in a friendly competition. Then we realized that other people might want to do the same (or achieve some other healthy goal). So, we’ve created a project with other bloggers called Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011.

Weight Loss Challenge

Basically, bloggers will be writing about their path to a better self in 2011 every Monday. What’s cool is that we will all write from one prompt, which we put our own spin on based on our goals.

So, what will I be doing to lose my 40?

1. Exercise


I am spotty with exercise, but I have found in the past that when I buckle down and include some exercise daily then I lose easily. So, I am going to do what I know works for me and exercise at least 10 minutes per day, every day. I use a combination of exercise videos, which I stream from Netflix, dancing in my kitchen, walking and using cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, etc).

2. Portion Control


My husband and I always practice portion control with regular meals, but I need to do it with snacks too – which is where I’ve really lost it recently. It’s hard to say no, when you have a kitchen filled with delicious holiday confections (at least if you are me).

P.S. Check out my >video on portion control at the dinner table that I filmed recently. I’ll be using my own tips to make sure that my eating is extra healthy in the New Year. It was filmed in Minnesota back in November when several of the Tablespoon bloggers and I invaded General Mills headquarters, where we had a blast sitting in on a tasting, eating a ton of fantastic food, getting headshots done and filming some short video segments. It was an amazing (and busy!) two days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Savc6Qo9dY

3. Avoiding Triggers


Everyone has certain foods that they love so much that they end up eating a little too much of. For me, that’s bread and sweets. So, for the first month or so, I will avoid these all together. Yes, I will still have sandwiches on my favorite whole grain bread. But French bread, bagels and the like will be persona non grata for a little while. Same goes for sweets … my darling, darling sweets.

4. Load Up on Fruits and Veggies


While I am giving up confections, I am not giving anything else up. In fact, I plan to eat more fruits and veggies. We all know that we are supposed to eat five a day, but I am as guilty as anyone of not doing so all the time. That has to change.

5. Stick to Healthy Fats


I adore butter. And bacon. But I also know that they aren’t helping me achieve my goals, so I am cutting back on them. But healthy fats like avocados and olive oil? They are so 2011.

Want to follow along on our Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011 Challenge? I’ll be posting updates here on Tablespoon as well as on my blog, Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Also check out Cate’s journey on Sweetnicks. You can also catch up with all the ELB bloggers on our Facebook fan page.


What are your goals for 2011? Share them below!


 



Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.
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