Eat fewer calories and get more physical activity. Health experts stress this is the golden rule in managing weight -- and it couldn't sound much simpler.
So, why do Americans find this standard so hard to apply? Nearly two in three adults are overweight or obese, and the number keeps increasing. Hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from weight-related illness.
To improve your eating habits and work more exercise into your schedule, consider these offbeat tips from Weight Watchers.
To do so, try these suggestions:
Get fidgety. Fidgety people burn more calories than people who sit still. Stand up and pace while on the phone, or swing one leg when you sit with legs crossed.
Leave your work shoes in the office, and wear a pair of good, comfortable walking shoes on the street. Not only will you save wear and tear on your work shoes, but you'll also be able to walk more efficiently and with less risk of injury.
Don't use bus or subway transfers. Walking to work often gets city-dwellers where they're going more quickly than taking a cab or bus. As soon as you get off the bus or train, walk as much of the way to work as you can.
Involve your mind. When you take a long walk, use distraction to keep you moving. If you don't have a friend to walk with, use a personal stereo -- listen to a book on tape or music with a beat to it (but keep the volume low so you don’t damage your hearing). Don't wear a stereo if you must stay alert to the sound of traffic.
Close the door to your office. In privacy, you can pick up some free weights, use rubber bands, jump rope or do sit-ups. Some people even have personal trainers come to their offices. Or leave the door open and organize a lunchtime yoga class with co-workers.
Tighten your abs while sitting. Do this often enough, and you'll increase your muscle tone and improve your posture.
Go dancing. Consider taking a dance class before work.
Eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want. Keep stocked up on baby carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower and munch away. With sensible snacks on hand, you'll steer away from the vending machine.
Bring a low-fat sandwich or salad to work. That way you are in control of what you eat -- unlike when you purchase the cafeteria specials.
Never go to a restaurant hungry. First drink a can of V8 juice -- it's high in fiber and nutrients and fills you up. Or eat yogurt, fruit, or some other sensible snack. Then you can savor the higher-fat restaurant food but be satisfied with just half a portion or an appetizer.
Eat away from your desk. If you must snack, go to the break room. The same rule applies when you're watching television -- snack only in the dining room or kitchen, not in front of the tube.