The “biggest losers” may be the “biggest winners” in a competition offered by Bayhealth Medical Center’s Lifestyles Fitness Center in the New Year.
To help clients succeed with their 2011 New Year’s resolutions, Lifestyles Fitness Center will offer a ten week Biggest Losers Contest starting on January 10, 2011. Participants who sign up will have the opportunity to work with a Lifestyles’ Exercise Specialist who can design a personalized fitness program, provide nutritional guidance, and offer continual motivation and support. A grand prize will be awarded on March 21, 2011 for the contestant who has lost the highest percentage of body weight for the ten week period. Weekly winners will also earn “bragging rights” and have their name proudly posted on the Biggest Losers bulletin board at Lifestyles Fitness Center.
“Pride is sometimes the best motivator for people to succeed in their New Year’s resolutions. During our contest last year, people went all out for the chance to have their name posted on the winners’ board and to be recognized by their peers. We all have a competitive spirit,” said Lifestyles Fitness Site Supervisor Sheri Minear, ACSM-HFI, ACE-CPT.
“People who ordinarily would not be motivated become very competitive, and they push much harder than they normally would,” said Minear.
To help Biggest Losers contestants succeed, Lifestyles Fitness Center will also offer an expanded fitness class schedule at varying times throughout the week starting in January. As a special promotion, the facility is offering FREE fitness classes to the public between January 3rd and January 7th, 2011.
“The competitive environment will help motivate people but it will also come down to making a permanent lifestyle change. You must make a personal commitment to yourself that you want to improve your life forever,” said Minear.
A Bayhealth dietary expert says the same mindset must apply to people who resolve to eat healthier during the New Year.
“Most people fail in their New Year’s resolutions because they are only seeking a dramatic short-term change. People who starve themselves to lose 10 pounds in two weeks will ultimately give up and go back to their unhealthy diet and lifestyle,” said Bayhealth-Milford Memorial Hospital Inpatient Dietitian Pam Pearson, R.D.
Here are some tips which Pearson recommends for people looking to permanently shed the extra weight, live healthier, and feel better:
• Cut back on portion sizes for each meal. Eat healthy snacks between meals to reduce hunger so that portion control is “easier” during your main meals.
• Substitute healthy snacks for unhealthy snacks. If you have a hankering for potato chips, pick the baked chips. Pick low-fat frozen yogurt rather than ice cream.
• If you can’t go “cold turkey” on the junk food, reduce your consumption gradually. Dropping from seven to four sodas per day can cut 450 daily calories from your diet.
• Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Have a snack at least every five hours or less during the day to prevent “binge eating” during dinner.
• Don’t have any large meals less than two hours before you go to sleep. When you’re sleeping, your metabolism is lower, and more of this food will be stored as fat.
• Pay attention to the nutritional content on food labels. You’ll be shocked at how much fat there is in some of the food that you may have thought was “healthy.”
• Watch out for “stealth” calories that might turn healthy food into unhealthy food. For example, a salad may be horribly unhealthy once you add cheese, croutons and salad dressing that is laden with fat.
Bayhealth’s tobacco cessation expert also agrees that quitting smoking is a New Year’s resolution that can only be successful if a person is resolved towards a permanent lifestyle change and has a commitment towards a long-term objective. Another key is understanding some of the underlying reasons for why you smoke.
“Tobacco cravings are often a proxy for something else—usually stress. Smoking continues the vicious cycle by raising blood pressure, creating even more stress and, in turn, leads to more smoking,” said Bayhealth Tobacco Cessation Specialist Terry Towne, RN.
“Sometimes it takes just squeezing a stress ball, deep breathing, or finding some other distraction (besides smoking) to divert your attention from the stress,” said Towne.
To register for the tobacco cessation classes starting in January 2011, please call 744-7135. To sign up for nutritional and dietary consultations, please call 744-6842. To sign up for the Biggest Loser weight loss competition at Lifestyles Fitness Center, please call (302) 734-3126.