How many times have you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight? Here's how to keep that resolution to lose weight, with a plan for success from dietitian and author Elizabeth Somer.
I'm Lisa Birnbach for Howdini. And I want to lose weight every January. That's a big deal for me. I know it is for a lot of our viewers. Elizabeth Somer is with us, the dietitian and author. How do we start? We have overdone it. We feel guilty. We've beat ourselves up. And now it's January. Yes and the biggest mistake-- well, two. The biggest mistake people make is, one, they try to take it all on too fast and too furiously. They say I'm going to lose 30 pounds this month. And I'm going to live at the gym. And I'm not going to eat anything. And, of course, within two weeks the tennis shoes are at the back of the closet, and we're back to grazing out of the refrigerator. So that's one. And then the other one is not having a plan, just sort of going into it with this, I want to lose weight, and I'm going to do it. You've got to have a specific plan how you're going to do it, and you need to take baby steps to get there. Really important. Well, also, you slide off the wagon on January 3rd, and then you give up. Right? Shouldn't you just get back on the wagon? Well, yeah. I think it's because people just take on too much too fast. Well, what's a good way to start? OK, well first, take the first three days just to look at what you're doing in the first place. Keep a journal for three days and write down everything you eat, when and where and how much, to get an idea because, probably, most of what you're doing is fine. It's probably just a few things that need to be tweaked, not the entire eating plan. And then start making a plan from there. You wouldn't leave New York, headed on a road trip for California, and not pull out the map. Well, you need a specific map how you're going to get there. Maybe you'll find, hm, I don't eat breakfast because I'm always thinking that's a great way to cut calories. So maybe it'll be I'm going to start eating breakfast because I know that people eat breakfast actually have a much easier time managing their weight. And the people that eat breakfast not only lose the weight, but they keep it off, which is even more critical. So have a light breakfast in the morning. Maybe it's that you'll find, you know, I'm really smothering the bread in butter. I'm going to switch to a little bit of jam and take the butter off of my toast. Have a really specific plan. I'm not going to try to work out an hour a day because I haven't worked out in 10 years. I'm just going to add a 10-minute walk three days a week to my routine with the idea that, over the course of several weeks, I'll increase up to a 15-minute walk. And then I'll increase it to two 10-minute walks. And that, by the end of the year, I'll be walking about an hour a day. So have a very specific plan, and take baby steps to get there. Another thing they're doing is they're not eating differently on the weekends than during the week. A lot of people say, well, I'll be really good all week, and then I'll just splurge on the weekends. We now know that people that really maintain a significant amount of weight don't go off their schedule on the weekends. They eat consistently from Monday through Sunday and from one week to the next. Another thing they do is that they get on the scale a lot more often than we used to think people needed to do. They're monitoring their eating habits closely and then doing just what you said. At the first sign of weight gain-- or not weight loss, in the case of losing weight-- they jump right back on to their dieting habits to nip those little gains in the bud. Now I've also heard that, if you become obsessed with your scale, that's not good either because, well, obsession of any kind isn't healthy. I know. And that's what I've been telling people for years is, maybe, get on the scale once a week, but don't obsess about it because your weight will vary from day to day. And sometimes it's just water weight. But what we're finding from the national weight control registry is that people that really are serious about keeping their weight under control are weighing themselves more often than we've been recommending up until recently. When you take it off and you're a little older, is it going to be harder to do? Does your metabolism slow down as you age? I'm told that menopause is when women thicken. Thicken? I don't like that idea. It's not a very pretty image, no. Is that true? I don't know whether that's true because all the studies, up until recently, have been on older women who were sedentary. And we didn't have a big population of 50-plus women that were vigorously active. Well, we do now. We do now. And what we're finding is that women that stay active-- and I'm not just talking strolling the mall but-- are biking, and they're hiking, and they're walking briskly, and they're running, and they're doing things, we're finding that they're maintaining a metabolism that's very close to a woman in her 20s. They also look younger. They have no risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, all the way around. If I can't get you for health reasons, maybe I can get you on the vanity, that, when you look at pictures of women in their 50's that are vigorously active, people guess they're up to 20 years younger. Really? Yeah. I know it's not fun, but lot's of things in life aren't fun. You have to pay bills too. Just exercise. I don't do those either. OK, Elizabeth Somer, thank you so much. For Howdini, I'm Lisa Birnbach.
Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?
We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.
Who is Howdini?
People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)
Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.
The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)
Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.
Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.
What’s Next for Howdini?
Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.
We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.
And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.