many people gain weight in just the few weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year, and now they are trying to shed that excess weight. But the question is, are they doing it right?

Many people are tempted to try anything that promises to help them lose weight right now. With all the gimmicks on TV, the pills, the drops, the injections and the prepackaged food, choosing the right way to lose weight can be very confusing.

Along with all the gimmicks, we also see a lot of home workout videos and home equipment and hear tons of advice about what works and what doesn’t. Here is a little secret I’d like to share: just because a celebrity endorses a product or program does not mean it works.

Losing weight and toning up is only as confusing as we make it.

How can you shed those extra pounds safely and effectively and maintain the weight loss long-term? Only healthy eating habits and regular exercise can accomplish that.

There is a science behind reducing the amount of calories you eat while increasing your levels of activity.

Many people pose the question of whether or not the workout they are doing is correctt.

Here is the best thing to do if you are confused or if you are just getting started — walk, walk, walk. You are not going to go wrong with walking.

As we all know, Oklahoma weather can be crazy, so take advantage of the nice weather when we get it. Take a walk outside.

When you can’t make it around the block in your neighborhood, you could walk around the local mall or hit the gym. Most gyms will have several choices of cardio equipment.

The other advantage of working out in a gym is you can usually get the advice about the workout that is right for you by asking a personal trainer.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

· Always do weights before cardio. Most people are confused about this one, and I regularly watch people at my gym do the opposite.

However, trainers, serious athletes and bodybuilders do weights first. Your heart rate goes up and when you lift, your body is in more of a fat burning mode. Splurge on a trainer or great instructor.

If you want some extra motivation to go to the gym, nix thoughts of fancy, expensive shower gels and get yourself a trainer, or register in a yoga/spin/aerobics class with a great instructor.

· Clench your muscles. You know how to breathe when you’re lifting weights. Now start clenching your muscles, too. For instance, clench your biceps/triceps when doing lifts; clench your abs when doing crunches.

· Do two sessions. After each workout session, there’s a post-workout, calorie-burning time. You can double that time by splitting your session into two, if you have enough time.

· Always do weights in front of a mirror. This is especially important to remember when you’re at home and not surrounded by mirrors on all sides. By seeing what you do, you can ensure that your posture is correct.

· Mix it up. Once you’ve established a routine, you might feel more comfortable, but so will your body, meaning you won’t be as effective in burning fat and building muscle.

You’re also likely to get bored pretty soon. So have fun when you’re exercising by mixing things up. Just remember to start slow and do it daily. Just get up and move.

Kris Mayes is a weight loss coach at Thin and Healthy Total Solutions, 901 N. Moore Ave., Moore, 912-4995.

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