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Waist away: Weight loss all about management, motivation

The idea of finally losing those extra pounds and gaining some muscle is often at the top of the New Year list. But keeping the motivation to trim the fat can be challenging. Rosemary Seuss, the VP of operations/executive director at the Jerry Long YMCA says to remember the three “M’s” when trying to slim down.

“Monitoring, managing and motivation — the 3 ‘M’s,’” Seuss expresses. “Monitor weight regularly if your goal is weight loss. Manage the weight loss process with sound diet and exercise practice. For motivation, use the buddy system. Take group exercise or use a personal trainer to help with accountability.”

But the weight will not dissipate unless your new goals include healthier food choices. Pam Baker, the owner of Healthy Made Simple, has helped train people at the William G. White Y. She now delivers healthy meals to her clients. “It’s impossible to lose weight and not have your nutrition right. You can work out like a fiend, but your nutrition has to be balanced and healthy,” Baker notes.

The United States Health and Human Services Department (HHS) updates their dietary guidelines every five years. The most common goals in the latest edition advises to limit these three obesity triggers: salt, saturated and trans fats, and added sugars.

According to HHS, “Adults and children ages 14 years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than 14 years should consume even less. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces and soups.” Adding more spices can be healthy substitute for the salt.

Foods that are often higher in saturated fats include items like butter, whole milk and fatty meats. Unsaturated fats like canola or olive oil can be a great substitute for butter. Added sugars are usually concealed in beverages, syrups and other food. Fruit can help curve the sugar craving.

“As far as exercise, knowledge and education to meet you where you are on your health journey is critical to success,” Seuss adds. “The Y offers a program called UFit to help coach you and connect you to permanent lifestyle change.”

Ufit costs $150 but is free for new members. Currently, the Y is not charging a joining fee which is normally $69. “Also, we are offering new specialty training and boot camps for all new members in the month of January and will offer these things throughout the year as well,” adds Seuss.

Another perk of the Y is the vast access. “When someone joins one Y, this allows access to most YMCAs across the whole country,” Seuss explains. “Travel no longer interrupts the workouts and participants can take advantage of a variety of amenities at different facilities to keep motivated.”