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Important:  6 Tips for a Happier New Year by Mr. Bad Food

a.k.a. John McGran

New Year's Day is at hand. Like Spring Training for Major League Baseball players, January 1 is a time of great optimism. We've hung our ink-free new calendars and uttered our vows to succeed at quitting smoking, finding a better job, landing the love of our life, losing our pesky pounds, and tightening our sagging butt, belly and thighs.

Yes, on New Year's Day millions of us will dust off our traditional resolutions of weight loss and fitness and set them free one more time. Sadly, by the end of January, too many of us will be waving the white flag and filling up on fries rather than free weights... we'll be running to the corner store rather than to the jogging track... we'll be watching rather than playing football... and we'll be sighing and buying one-size larger clothing rather than beaming and joyfully screaming while trying on smaller outfits.

I’m not trying to burst anyone’s bubble. It's good to set your sights on goals that will better your life... and, in some cases, prolong it too! It may be the simple fact we bite off more than we can chew, literally and figuratively.

By some estimates we dine out an average of six times a week. And when I say dine out, I don’t mean white table cloth and a relaxing meal. No, Mr. Bad Food means a quick drive-thru of a fast food joint on the way home from work. Our eating habits are atrocious.

So this year, why not try something a little different? Opt for resolutions that are within your grasp and make doable changes to your eating habits. Seeing progress will motivate you to stay the fight and succeed at weight loss and fitness.

We shouldn’t be focusing on what we’re doing wrong. We should be focusing on what we can do right: avoid bad food all year round.


Mr. Bad Food’s 6 Tips for a Happier New Year!

1) Be realistic! You didn’t gain that extra 50 pounds overnight, so why should you expect to lose it by February? The experts will tell you to expect a one- to two-pound weekly weight loss – if you do it right and want your loss to last.

2) Fad = Bad! Steer clear of any highly hyped diet du jour. Stick with eating plans that have been around for years with proven results and plenty of fans. The latest greatest promise may set you up for fast weight loss, followed almost immediately by even faster weight gain when your diet returns to the real world.

3) Cha-cha-changes! Going cold turkey is a tough way to fly. So ease the pain by starting slowly. Take baby steps by cutting back on your beloved fast food. Take time to read and understand the menus before ordering. Yes Virginia, in many cases, you can order a somewhat healthy menu item at your favorite fast food joint.

4) Find time for fitness! Thirty minutes a day, three days a week is a great start – and it’s a commitment you’re more likely to stick with. Pick a regular time that works for you and your busy schedule. You may want to roll out of bed an hour earlier each day to fit in your fitness with fitness gear like a treadmill, best ellipticals for home, cycles dumbbells, before your world gets crazy.

5) Reward yourself! Set a system of positive feedback. You might start with buying that new CD after your drop the first 5 pounds. Then work your way towards bigger and better rewards as you drop significant weight and approach your goals. Spa visits are always a good way to pamper the person responsible for your success – YOU!

6) Stay focused… but don’t beat yourself up over slips! Hey, slip happens. We’re not perfect. They key is to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and get back on that Nordic track after you indulge in a second helping of Aunt Emma’s Holiday Cake! The race to good health does not go to the swiftest. Be the tortoise and be in better shape come January 2009!

Just the facts, man!

-- 67% of us make three or more resolutions.
-- 63% of us are still working on our resolutions two months into the year.
-- 10 most common resolutions are lose weight, stop smoking, stick to a budget, save more money, find a better job, become more organized, exercise more, be more patient at work/with others, eat better, and become a better person.



John McGran (nargcm@aol.com) has been a writer/editor for about as long as he’s been battling his weight. During his 25 year-career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and Web sites. One of his newest gigs is as co-writer of BadFoodGoodFood.com.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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