lose weight

A Simple Trick to Keep Weight Off: Weigh Yourself Regularly

weighing yourself

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know how hard it is. That’s why it’s so important to keep the excess weight from coming on in the first place. And one method for doing that is to weigh yourself regularly. I know there are lots of opinions on this with some experts saying to never weigh yourself but I think regular weigh-ins are helpful for keeping you on track.

You might think it’s better to just see how your clothes fit. If they’re getting snug, it’s time to cut back. But this doesn’t always work. Clothes stretch and people like to use the “it must have shrunk in the dryer” excuse when pants get too tight. A scale is more reliable.  And it seems to get people to take action more than the tight-clothing approach.

How often should you weigh in? Some people like to weigh themselves every day, but I think that’s a lot. And once a week weigh-ins can be misleading. For example, just one day of salty meals before a weigh-in could add on a couple pounds of excess water. So I tell people to weigh in 2-3 times a week. That way you can get an average for the week.

If you see your weight creeping up by a couple pounds, take action. Cut portions a little and bump up your activity level. These small changes can help get rid of those few extra pounds. And losing 1-2 pounds now is much easier than trying to lose 20-30 pounds later.

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, foodnuti.com. She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Tiffany, Week 19: Helping Your Kids Make Healthy Choices

tiffany and anna

What’s one of the best ways to help your kid lose weight? Slim down yourself. That’s what a study that came out earlier this year from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and The University of Minnesota showed. Of course changing what I buy at the grocery store, for example, would have an impact on my children. But what’s been so impressive is that even in situations where I’m not in control, my daughter is making healthy choices!

From the beginning of the Healthy Family Challenge, my daughter, Anna, was really looking forward to working out at a gym. Unfortunately, at 9 years old, she’s too young to be allowed on the gym floor. When I broke the news to her, she was bummed. But I told Lass, my trainer, this and he developed a routine for Anna.

She does body weight squats, jumping jacks, toe touches and overhead presses with hand weights. Lass told her to do four sets of twelve reps each. For this month’s challenge she increased to 4 sets at 15 reps. She easily modified her workout and even added more. (Go Anna!) Plus, every day, she and her friends at daycare dance make up routines to do. Anna also loves to ride her bike around our neighborhood with the kids in town. And, of course, she tries to keep up with Jack, which is a tough job. He is consistently on the go!

For this month’s challenge, Anna, like me, was focused on losing weight. According to our doctor, she was at the high end of normal, so she wanted to lose a few pounds. One day, she went on a field trip to a pizza buffet and arcade with her daycare center. Rather than have 2 or 3 slices of pizza, Anna made herself a salad and had one slice of pizza because she wanted to make good choices. Amazing, right? She now feels so much better and full of energy and she doesn’t even miss the bad foods.

How have you helped your kids make healthy choices? Post a comment and tell me!


Peggy, Week 17: 7 Roadblocks to Weight Loss (And How To Overcome Them)

peggy avagliano

Most of us desire to be a better version of ourselves. We sit on the couch watching infomercials claiming their DVD or book holds the secret we have been longing for. If we follow their simple plan, we will finally succeed in achieving our goals. We will have the body of an Olympic runner. We will have the money of Bill Gates. We will achieve a breakthrough in science or world peace to rival Albert Einstein and the Dali Lama.

The truth is that few of us really need a special video to tell us how to achieve our goals. We already have the answers. We know that we need to eat more whole foods and exercise if we want to lose weight. We know we need to get in front of our computer and start typing if we want to write that children’s book. The key to success is simple: You need to start the journey.

So, if we know what we need to do, why are we not all achieving our dreams?

What roadblocks do we have to overcome to being the person we believe we can be? Here are a few of the roadblocks I’ve noticed and the best answers I have found to overcome them:

1. Excuse: We are too old to achieve the goal.
Reality: “You will never again be as young as you are today.” – Kim Avagliano

2. Excuse: I do not have enough time.
Reality: Track how many minutes a day you watch TV, or engage in on-line activities; you will likely find a half hour a day you could be exercising.

3. Excuse: I can’t do it.
Reality: You will never succeed, if you do not start.

4. Excuse: My goal is too large.
Reality: Break it down into smaller bites. If you say you want to lose 100 pounds, it seems too much to even try. However, saying that you are going to lose 10 pounds in the next three months is a reasonable endeavor.

5. Excuse: I’m not sure how to start.
Reality: Google the question. Someone else has probably answered it. For weight loss, try Sparkpeople.com, a free site I am on (DOCPEGGYVAGS).

6. Excuse: It’s too late to start right now.
Reality: “A year from now, you may wish you started today.” – Karen Lamb

7. Excuse: I can’t achieve my goal alone.
Excuse: Don’t. Join a group. Seek out an adult kickball team or bowling league—some sport to which you can make a commitment.

All of these obstacles prevent us from being the person we want to be. But it only takes one step in the right direction to get closer to the person you’re destined to be.

What keeps you from achieving your goals? Add your excuses below, and then tell us how you plan to overcome it.