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Weight Loss: More Than Just Another New Year's Resolution
By Melissa Mattucci Lindberg, M.S. Exercise Physiology

Melissa Mattucci Lindberg, M.S. Exercise PhysiologyTis the season for New Year's resolutions, and I'm sure you know someone who is vowing to lose weight … again. With so many products and plans out there claiming to be the best way to lose weight, it's not surprising a lot people overlook the basics. Though one size does not fit all when it comes to diet and exercise for weight loss, consider these simple guidelines, and you'll be on your way to a fitter, trimmer you!

Set a SMART goal
"I want to lose 20 pounds" may sound like a good plan, but that goal is missing some key content. How long will it take you to lose that weight? How are you going to do it? Always set a SMART goal for yourself- specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Your new and improved goal: "I'm going to lose 20 pounds in 5 months by jogging for 30 minutes a day, 4 days per week."

Choose the right exercise
What is the best exercise to lose weight? According to Dr. Timothy Church, professor of biomedical research at Pennington University, the answer is obvious: "the exercise you'll do." There is much debate regarding the effectiveness of resistance training vs. aerobic exercise for weight loss. Though there is clearly a benefit to both, a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that aerobic exercise (running, biking, and swimming) is the most efficient method to decrease body mass and fat.

Monitor what you eat
Diet is a 4 letter word that can make almost anybody cringe, so why diet? Look at food as fuel to get you through the day. Re-evaluate what your current eating patterns are before making any drastic changes. Keep a food log for a week to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself, and address those bad habits that need to change. Remember, these changes are not meant to be temporary. Choose small steps that you can maintain for months or even years beyond your weight loss goal.

Last but certainly not least, seek help!
Attempting to lose weight (especially if it is a significant amount) can be a very daunting and overwhelming task. Trying to go at it alone will give you an easy out when the going gets tough, so look to friends and family members to join you along the way. If you're not sure where to begin or hit a plateau, seek professional help such as an exercise physiologist or dietician.

The Community & Recreation Center located at 1551 Mayview Road is open to both Upper St. Clair and surrounding community residents. For more information, visit our website at www.twpusc.org/crc/crc-home or call (412) 221-1099. Melissa Mattucci Lindberg is Marketing/Membership Services Supervisor.

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