Managing weight achieved by consistent diet, regular exercise

Lea Petersen

With every new year, students find themselves making promises that “this year will be better than last.” Goals of eating healthier, exercising every day or losing those last 10 pounds are on many students’ minds.

Yet, these were probably the same resolutions people had last year and the year before that one. Perhaps the best way to ring in 2012 is to maintain and manage your current lifestyle.

As weight-related goals are often the main subject of New Year’s resolutions, personal weight management is a step in the right direction to a healthier new you. Calories are the main contributor in maintaining a healthy weight.

Dr. Carver Nebbe, psychiatrist and family practitioner at Thielen Student Health Center, explained caloric needs will vary from person to person.

“This varies for different people, but for a relatively sedentary person, the [recommended daily allowance for calories] runs between 1,800 for women and 2,200 for men,” Nebbe said.

Nebbe suggested that for students to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, they should develop and stick to a routine.

“Studies have found that people who eat on a schedule and regularly throughout the day tend to eat less and be thinner than those who are irregular, restrict and then binge over the course of the day,” Nebbe said. “As unexciting as it sounds, there is good evidence to suggest that eating a routine diet is good for you, so long as it contains good food.”

Nebbe explained that many cultures around the world follow a consistent diet of eating the same foods every day. In Central America, Nebbe said, rice and beans are staples of the region’s people’s diets. This is in great contrast to the fast-food consumption of Americans.

“Avoid fast food — high in fat and carbohydrates,” Nebbe said. “Exercise daily.”

As a daily exerciser, Claire Kruesel, yoga instructor at State Gym and Ignite Yoga, encourageed students to embrace new exercise options in the quest to stick to one’s resolutions.

“I encourage others to not let fear of failure or not being immediately good at something get in the way of trying, for instance, a Zumba or yoga class,” Kruesel said. “Don’t let the feeling of discomfort of exercising keep you from working out or from stopping before you’ve had a beneficial amount of exercise.”

On the subject of nutrition, Kruesel emphasized the importance of personal willpower.

“Don’t let yourself gloss over the truth that you’re not really hungry anymore and are actually seeking emotional comfort from that doughnut,” Kruesel said. “Practicing and strengthening the ability to sit with discomfort is extremely valuable — I would argue even invaluable — in working toward any resolution, be it fitness-related or otherwise.”