Kick off Your Weight Loss Plan with 30 Days of Biking

No fancy bike needed for 30 Days of Biking

Enjoy the warm weather and get your spring weight loss plan off to a strong start with 30 Days of Biking.  Sound intimidating?  It’s not.

What is 30 Days of Biking?
30 Days of Biking is a local Twin Cities program designed to promote biking.  To participate you simply make a pledge to ride somewhere every day for 30 days, then share your adventures online.  You can ride around the block, you can ride your bike to work, you can ride up and down your driveway.  It doesn’t matter.  Just get on your bike and ride.

The program began in 2010 and has been gaining popularity ever since.  The goal this year is to get as many participants during the month of April as possible.  Last year, over 2000 locals took part.  Do you have to be an expert?  Absolutely not.  Founders Patrick Stephenson and Zachariah Schaap explain.

“30 Days of Biking is not elitist. It is not a political statement. We don’t want you to worry about whether you have the right bike, or whether your butt looks good in spandex. We just want you out there, pedaling alongside our community…”

Brush up On Your Bike Skills
If you haven’t been on your bike in a while, listen to these North Memorial Health eAudio page to brush up on bike safety tips.  Injury Prevention Specialist Allison Pence gives helpful advice.

Share Your Experience with Us!
Once you start riding, share your experiences with #30daysofbiking and with @NMWeightLoss on Twitter.  Then, visit our Facebook page and share pictures of you on your bike or let us know your favorite place to visit on two wheels.
Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.
Photo source: gleangenie/Morguefile
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Weight Loss Tips From North Memorial Experts

Do you make healthy choices at the buffet?

Did you know that you can get healthy weight loss advice from a registered dietitian without leaving your home?  Pat Tyra, registered dietitian at North Memorial, provides helpful advice to help you lose weight and keep it off.  Her Health eAudio tips are short snippets of information that you can listen to from your computer.  You’ll learn valuable lessons and each audio clip is under a minute.

For example, do you feel like your best weight loss efforts hit the skids when you visit the buffet?  In her Portion Control segment, Pat gives specific tips for making sure you don’t overload your plate with unhealthy portions.  She explains that your serving of meat should be the size of a deck of cards.  Do you know what a reasonable portion of rice or pasta should look like? Listen to the rest of the Health eAudio to get the answer.

Visit the Health eAudio page at North Memorial.com and scroll down the page to find a list of Pat’s helpful tips.  Or click on one of the topics below:

Looking for more healthy tips? Go to Health eAudio to get a full list of topics.  While you’re there, check out the exercise advice from Daniel Feeley, MD, and  Dr. Joy Westerdahl and tips for diabetes care with Wanda Andrews, Board-Certified Physician Assistant.

Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.  You’ll find plenty of diet tips and exercise advice.  Check back here for updates or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear the latest news.

Photo source: mensatic/Morguefile

Weight Loss: What’s In It For Me?

Jot down your thoughts about losing weight.

Are you thinking about losing weight?  Even if you’re not sure that you are ready to go on a diet, it’s a good idea to identify the things that have motivated you to even consider it.  The  “What’s In It For Me” list becomes a great motivator to keep you on track throughout the entire weight loss process.

How to Make a “What’s In It For Me” List

Ask yourself a few questions to come up with a list of at least three reasons that you may want to lose weight.

  • How will my health improve if I lose weight?  Your health care provider at North Memorial may have suggested a weight loss plan for you.  For many people, weight loss decreases their risk of heart problems, diabetes and certain forms of cancer.  It can also help to lower blood pressure and improve quality of life.
  • How will my relationships change if I lose weight?  Will losing weight allow you to become more active with friends and family?  Will weight loss help you to have more fun with kids or grandkids?   Will you be more comfortable in your workplace if you drop a few pounds?
  • Will I feel better about myself if I lose weight?  For some people, a single event may be the incentive for weight loss.  Weddings and high school reunions are common motivators.  But once the single event has passed, many people notice that they enjoy improved confidence and a better quality of life after they lost weight.

Once you’ve got your list, post it in a place where you see it on a regular basis.  It may help you to take the first step towards changing your eating habits and increasing your activity level to lose weight.

If you are already on a healthy weight loss plan, check in with the list periodically and acknowledge the progress you’ve made towards reaching each one of the incentives.

Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.  You’ll find plenty of diet tips and exercise advice.  Check back here for updates or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear the latest news.

Photosource: ppdigital/Morguefile

How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight

Are you thinking about going on a diet? Do you feel like you should lose weight, but you’re not sure if you’re ready?  Starting a weight loss plan takes commitment.  But there are a few simple changes that you can make today that will improve your health in a big way.

Check out this video from the Exercise is Medicine facebook contest that took place last year.  The winning entry called “Choices” shows how easy it is to make little changes that have a big impact.  By starting with small steps, you may find yourself getting motivated to take on greater weight loss challenges.

Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.  You’ll find plenty of diet tips and exercise advice.  Check back here for updates or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear the latest news.

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

One of the most common questions that dieters ask is: how much weight can I lose?  And often, dieters want quick results.  But when it comes to weight loss, the slow and steady approach is best.

Healthy Weight Loss Happens Gradually
Healthy weight loss happens at a rate of approximately 1-2 pounds per week.  To do this, you generally need to cut 3500 calories from your diet each week.  That’s 500 calories per day.  You may be able to hit that mark by swapping water for high calorie sodas each day.  Or try replacing a high-fat side dish such as chips or fries with fresh fruit at lunch and dinner.  You can also try combining healthy eating with regular exercise to burn more calories.

Avoid Weight Loss Gimmicks
You may see ads for diet plans, pills and supplements that advertise faster weight loss.  Often, the products are not effective. Your best bet for long term weight loss is to learn healthy eating habits and lose the weight gradually.

Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.  You’ll find plenty of diet tips and exercise advice.  Check back here for updates or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear the latest news.

Get Ready for Spring Weight Loss

ImageHas the warm weather gotten you excited for summer?  For many people, losing weight becomes a top priority in the spring.  Whether it is the sense of renewal, the focus on outdoor activity, or the summer fashions that motivate us, getting in shape becomes a front-burner issue when the weather gets warm.

So how do you get started on a weight loss plan?  Follow these simple steps to put a plan into action.

 3 Steps to Spring Weight Loss

  • Set short-term goals.  It’s easy to set a big weight loss goal before you actually go on the diet.  But when the plan gets difficult, sometimes the long-term goal seems unachievable.
    Instead, think about setting weekly achievable goals.  Resolve to walk for 20 minutes every day, or eat more vegetables at dinner.  You’ll be surprised how little changes can have a big effect!
  • Meet with your health care provider.  You’ll want to make sure you are healthy enough for physical activity and discuss weight loss options with your provider.  If you have medical issues that could impact your ability to lose weight, you can work together to find the best way to work around them.
  • Grab a few friends!  One of the best ways to stay accountable to a weight loss plan is to have friends and family who support you.  Find a few buddies who will support you by sharing healthy meals, visiting the local farmers market, or exercising with you.

Stay tuned for the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website coming soon.  You’ll find plenty of diet tips and exercise advice.  Check back here for updates or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to hear the latest news.

Photo source: badeendjuh/Morguefile

Welcome to the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss Program

If you want to lose weight or live a healthier life, you’ll find plenty of handy information and weight loss tips at the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss Program website.  Spend a few minutes and check out the healthy eating and healthy exercise pages to learn how you can begin your weight loss journey.

You’ll also want to visit our new Facebook page!  This is a great place for you to post questions, comments and get more information about weight loss and healthy living. We’ll be posting about hot topics, fads and diet news and we want to hear from you.  If you follow us on Twitter you can tweet to us as well.

If you want to lose weight, we’re here for you. Be sure to bookmark this page.  We’ll be adding new information each week.  Then make 2012 the year that you get healthy with the new North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss Program website and services.

Photo source: hotblack/Morguefile