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Create A Plan To Lose Weight, Stay In Shape

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Diet, exercise, health, keys to success, plan

(credit: CBS)

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By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Psychologist Steve Garrigan is very practical about staying in shape.

“One thing people don’t consider is that it’ll save you money. You can save a lot of money in your future by staying fit, on medication and on future treatments,” Garrigan said.

Garrigan said he once packed more than 200 pounds on his 5-foot, 7-inch frame, but never again, because he limits sweets and hits the gym regularly.

“I try to do it three-times a week, a good 30 to 40 minutes. And during the summer I do a lot of outdoor biking,” said Garrigan.

“You know, it sounds so easy: Eat less, exercise more,” said co-author of the Mayo Clinic Diet book, Dr. Don Hensrud.  The expert on nutrition and weight loss knows it is anything but easy.

With a plan, however, Dr. Hensrud said it is certainly doable.  In a pilot study, all 46 Mayo employees lost weight the first two-weeks on the Mayo Diet.

“Forty-one of 46 (people) lost 4 pounds or more. The average weight loss was 8 pounds and most people lost 6 to 10 pounds,” Hensrud said.

Dr. Hensrud said you will be more successful with weight loss if you focus more on the process than the numbers on the scale. Make your approach simple and sustainable.

For starters, move 30 minutes a day doing an activity you enjoy. Eat breakfast daily.  Choose higher bulk, lower calorie foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, give your self some time to adjust healthier lifestyle choices.

“The factors that go into that and affect what we eat are tremendously complex,” Dr. Hensrud said. “What we grew up eating, our taste preferences … what our neurobiology and our appetite centers (tell us) are all factors.”

Ask yourself: What is your motivation for losing weight? Is it better health or looking better? Both answers are valid. Then identify the barriers that keep getting in your way.

“Is it a lack of activity?  Is it a lack of time?” asked Hensrud.  “Then work on those barriers to overcome them.”

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