It’s that time of year again where we take a few minutes to evaluate our health and fitness then make a pledge to lose those unwanted holiday pounds. Yea, yea, yea, we all know... the evidence is in, exercise makes you look and feel better so it’s not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions (second only to arresting a Kardashian).
To my surprise, I personally only gained 2½ pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, but a cold bottle of magnesium citrate took care of that. I say “to my surprise” because it should have been a lot more. I absolutely cast blame on the numerous holiday parties, getting all my Christmas shopping done on a laptop computer from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy. Oh yeah, and it rained on exactly the days I wanted to ride my bicycle or go for a power walk.
It didn’t help that many of the gifts I received were baskets of chocolates and cookies, although my taste buds sure appreciated it. To make matters worse, a very good friend of mine from New York City sent me a cheesecake from Junior’s, known as the home of New York’s finest cheesecake — cheesecake so good you may as well smear it on your ass because that’s where it’s going to end up anyway. I wouldn’t even need a New Year’s resolution if I had a high school reunion to go to this year. Admit it, everybody drops 10 to 15 pounds for their reunion. My next reunion is in 2015, and I’ll look like a superhero.
Sleep It Off
Thankfully it’s 2012 and losing weight really isn’t that hard — in fact they say it’s so easy you can do it in your sleep. I need to lose a few pounds (okay, maybe 20), so my New Year’s resolution is to get more sleep! Sleep experts say you can lose weight if you get at least 7½ hours of sleep a night. I bet I can get at least eight hours of sleep a night with my eyes closed!
I’ve done my homework and the experts say when you’re deprived of sleep you overproduce a hormone called Ghrelin, a fancy word for something that makes you crave junk food (donuts, candy bars, fast food... did I mention donuts?), causing you to eat an average of 460 more calories per day. Apparently, that translates into almost five pounds of very unattractive fat every two weeks!
During deep sleep, your brain secretes large amounts of growth hormone (not to be confused with the injectable version of HGH, which Major League Baseball frowns upon), which tells your body to break down hideous fat for fuel. If you deprive your body of deep sleep, those extra calories (donuts) get stored as unsightly fat. When there’s not enough growth hormone to break it down, you pack it away in your butt, thighs, love handles, belly, face, and chins. I say chins because there are people who actually walk around with two or three of them sometimes.
Some people call it ‘getting your beauty sleep’ but I call it my super-duper-easy-and-inexpensive weight lose training program!
Fantasy Weight Loss
There is actually an even easier and faster way to lose weight. You can actually lose those unwanted pounds by fantasizing it off. It’s been proven that if you use your imagination as a crime fighter, you can burn off calories 20 times faster!
Example #1: The other day I was fantasizing about walking in on a bank robbery in progress and after a quick tussle with the perp I was able to disarm him. After a short foot pursuit, another round of hand-to-hand tactics ensued and I was able to finally subdue the suspect.
Total time taken up by this fantasy: 14 minutes
Total calories burned while having this fantasy: 120
Example #2: I’m one of three judges at a Wet Muumuu Contest at the local senior independent living center. There are close to 35 contestants, most over the age of 75, each wearing brilliantly-colored Polynesian outfits. There is nothing more obnoxious than an audience of old men cackling and carrying on like a bunch of 16-year-old boys as a new contestant’s muumuu is hosed down with nutritional high-protein chocolate Boost (proud sponsor of this popular annual event). The top winner advances to the State Finals and hopefully on to the Nationals.
Total time taken up by this fantasy: 19 minutes
Total calories burned while having this fantasy: 360
Example #3: I’m fishing for catfish at this beautiful pond out in the middle of nowhere (nowhere means no cell phone service) on a cloudless day, not caring whether or not I actually catch anything. The UV rays are warming my face as I take in nature’s vitamin D. Suddenly I hear a yell for help from across the pond and see an old lady in a wheelchair wearing provocatively-cut jean short shorts and a blouse tied in a knot at the mid drift like Daisy Duke. I observe that she is going into what appears to be cardiac arrest. She’s old but not that old (Angie Dickinson, Jane Fonda old). Old but HOT (remember, this is my fantasy!).
By the time I get to her, she’s unconscious, has no pulse and is not breathing... I quickly start CPR while at the same time pushing her through the high weeds in her wheelchair to my brand new 2012 Range Rover Evoque, named Motor Trend 2012 Sport/Utility of the year. I am able to revive her and drive her to the nearest hospital where doctors perform quadruple bypass surgery.
Total time taken up by this fantasy: 25 minutes
Total calories burned while having this fantasy: 690
If All Else Fails
If sleeping it off or fantasizing it off doesn’t work for you, you may be one of those plump, chubby, portly types who have to lose weight the old fashion way by lap band surgery, liposuction, or (God forbid!), exercise!
Whatever your program of choice is, I wish you luck — Happy New Year and the best for 2012!