It's been five weeks since the start of the Family Challenge. Everyone is losing weight. I'm thrilled! Of course, some are losing more weight than others.
If you read my first article last week, you know I put my family on a strict diet to improve their health. I provided each of them with a meal plan and nutrition information – and requested they do an exercise of their choice three to five times a week. They seem to be following through with the nutritional plan, though at times some slack off on their aerobic exercises.
The first meal plan forbids any processed foods because they contain high sodium – they couldn’t eat any breads or cereals or crackers. Instead, they would substitute those foods with sweet potato, brown rice, Greek yogurts, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. And I wanted them to drink 64 ounces of water, plus exercise three times a week.
This month, I sent my family their second meal plan, making it a bit more flexible than the diet for the first month. I included arepas de maiz (made from corn, not corn meal or flour) and flourless bread and high-fiber tortillas. I also included more fiberous carbohydrates like beans, peas and even plantains. I have to add that Latin twist for my Colombian familia. They seemed pretty pleased because now they have more variety.
It’s been five weeks since the Family Challenge started, but too soon to tell who will succeed. But I'm positive they'll do well this month. None of them exercised before the Family Challenge started, and now they are starting to hit the gym or walk more. Some, however, are doing better than others.
I have to motivate them to exercise more. Everyone seems to be giving me an excuse – but I don't want to hear any more excuses. I am challenging them to exercises three hours a week out of about 112 hours a week that we are awake. Now, there’s a challenge.
Of course, aesthetics is not the reason I am asking them to lose weight. I want them to reduce body fat to improve their metabolism, and healthy eating habits result in lower incidence of heart disease – the country’s No. 1 killer – and helps reduce the changes of getting arthritis and osteoporosis.
I’m hoping we can all be healthy and eat well.
Norma Korpics is a nutritionist and competes in figure/fitness competitions. She lives in South Florida.