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Healthwise: Realistic Resolutions

December 29, 2010

As we ring in the new year, many of us will vow to lose weight. We'll spend lots of time dieting and exercising our way into a smaller clothing size. But do those resolutions last?

"I like to tell people not to use the word diet, because diet implies that it's a temporary kind of change. What you should do is stick to lifestyle changes," said dietitian David Stebbins.

Stebbins advocates for changes that are more realistic to follow. He says you should aim for something that is realistically attainable. For weight loss, Stebbins says controlling portion size is a good first step because you know how much you usually eat and can easily cut that by half. It's also important to be aware of what you're eating.

“You should have lots of fruits and veggies and lean meats. Staying away from fried and high fat meats, burgers, hot dogs and fried chicken; those are some of the more obvious ones,” said Stebbins.

Specialists at Martha Jefferson say keeping a realistic weight loss resolution takes more than just changing your diet. Exercise needs to enter the equation as well. Experts say whether you're joining a health club or walking on the treadmill a few times a week, coming up with an exercise routine will help you drop the pounds.

“What's critical is to develop a habit. Once you have habit down and your disciplines then you will continue to do it because you'll feel so much better,” said exercise physiologist Lisa Womack.

Once you've found realistic eating and workout habits, becoming a more fit you should happen naturally. And this time next year you could have a brand new resolution, maybe saving money to buy a new wardrobe to fit your smaller frame.

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