Spring 2003, "Your Secret Weapon for Weight Loss"

By Peter Flax

If you want to lose weight before your wedding, experts say you'll be more successful if you map out a strategy first. "It's like handling a business problem - set a goal, develop a plan, and take steps to put it into action," says Jana Klauer, M.D., a weight-loss specialist in New York City. Use our checklist and spend some time evaluating your attitudes toward eating and exercising. When you look slim and gorgeous in your gown, you'll be glad you did!

Schedule in your daily workouts
Take steps to ensure that you'll carry through with your plan.
Tried-and-true tricks like writing down exercise appointments in your date book really do work. "You wouldn't miss an appointment with a client," says Dr. Klauer. "View your workout as something else you just refuse to skip." Then think of other ways to stay on track. For example, if you've planned a morning workout, lay out your clothes the night before so you can get going as soon as you wake up.

Look for opportunities to add fitness to your daily routine, such as parking at the far end of the lot and walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or washing the car yourself rather than going to the car wash. Researchers at the Cooper institute in Dallas estimate that a person who always chooses active ways to accomplish tasks can expend 8,800 more calories a month (two-and-a-half pounds' worth) than one who selects less active options.

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