Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 7, 2013

Small changes in eating choices can have big impact

QUESTION: If a 55-year-old has been 20 or more pounds overweight for decades, what small changes can they make to lifestyle that will jump start a new way of living healthfully?

Expert: Jamey Lachiana

Exercise Physiologist

Yangs Fitness Center

Answer: Small changes can make a gigantic impact on someone who has been overweight for most of their life and are looking to better their wellness. The very best way to lose weight is to decrease the amount of food/calories you consume on a daily basis. This can start as a very minute change such as going from whole milk in your coffee to skim milk or drinking it black, like I do. Or it can be a more proactive change like cutting down on your extras throughout the day i.e. snacking, alcohol, desserts and large portions. Cutting down on sugar-filled sport drinks or sodas, and replacing them with water, can make a huge impact on your waist size as well.

As we age, many people tend to become less active. Mom isn’t setting up play dates anymore, friends are too busy with work to get together, or being a parent takes up a lot of the day. However, we need to be proactive enough that we replace our old activities with new, healthy activities. Working out even 30 minutes a day can cause a major change on the scale.

A great example of a recent success story is my father. He is in his late 50s and has been holding onto 30-plus pounds for decades. After years of nagging him to make changes, he finally gave in. He now works out 20 to 45 minutes a day. He spends half of his time doing cardio intervals and the other half doing various weight exercises I taught him. He cut down his portion sizes, and makes healthier food choices. Those changes alone have cut down his food urges greatly.

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