Set Reasonable Goals to Help Lose Weight this Year

Dr. Jim Donovan at St. Luke's says to set small goals when starting out

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – With the start of the New Year, many people are starting to diet and exercise more to drop a few pounds.

Health professionals say if you are looking to lose a few inches, the best thing to do is set realistic expectations from the beginning.

Dr. Jim Donovan, MD, a physician at St. Luke’s, specializes in non–surgical weight loss. He says it’s important to set reasonable short-term goals, as well as some ambitious long–term goals. Donovan says he see many people set goals too high early on, which leads to burnout and disinterest.

“Start very simple exercises, maybe 5 to 10 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week and build yourself into it,” says Donovan. “Let your body recover, so when you [exercise] you’re going to enjoy doing it instead of turning into a drudgery very quick, because it’s so painful.”

Donovan says one of the more popular diets right now is the paleo diet, which eliminates lots of high–sugar processed foods. He says whatever diet you might choose, remember dieting is a long term commitment, and to not focus too much on immediate weight change.

“Don’t think of it as dieting, think of it as a change in life style that’s going to lead to sustained weight loss. For weight-loss you need to eat less, but to keep it off you have to exercise.”

Donovan says a healthy diet should have a weight loss of one to three pounds per week.



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