East Syracuse: Setting realistic goals for weight loss

Each year, health and fitness play a big role in New Year's resolutions, with losing weight as one of the most popular goals. These resolutions, however, reflect life-style changes that can't necessarily be done overnight.

The key to successful weight loss is to take baby steps, said Carol Blair, a certified nutritionist and wellness educator at Natur-Tyme in East Syracuse.

Blair suggested several ways to stay on track in order to gain progress. The first step is to write down a list of goals to review weekly.

For one or two months, add one more vegetable a day to your plate and eat the vegetable first. "This is a goal that is very easy to reach," she said.

Then, Blair said, add a piece of fruit every day.

Below is Blair's list of ways to successfully achieve weight loss goals:

Make a point to eat dessert once or twice a week instead of giving [dessert] up completely. "If you know that your family gets together on Sundays for blackberry pie, then make Sunday your day for dessert," Blair said.

Eat soup or salad at lunch.

Use sticky notes and place them on the refrigerator as reminders until new habits are developed. "This usually takes approximately three weeks," Blair said.

Losing one to two pounds a week is realistic. Don't get discouraged.

Attending weight loss programs or reporting to a nutritionist will also help to stay on track.

Take a daily multivitamin and a fish oil supplement. Fish oil benefits the heart and cholesterol. It also is an excellent source for hormone balance. "[Fish oil] can help you lose weight -- it helps shrink fat cells because it has the right kind of fat," Blair said. Blair also recommends taking fish oil supplements that have been screened for mercury. Ask a store employee if the bottle does not detail that information.

The same rules apply with exercise, Blair said.

"Don't say you can exercise for an hour a day if you can only do twenty minutes, or even five minutes. Take baby steps."

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