Caption: Hillsides employee, Rob DaSilva sports WOD Gear Clothing t-shirt, a functional athletic apparel company that has selected Hillsides as the beneficiary of its annual Team Series Competition.
By Sofi Goode
Over the past four years, Hillsides Residential Treatment Services Program Supervisor Rob Da Silva has undertaken a total lifestyle transformation. Motivated by a desire to regain the athleticism of his youth, Rob changed his eating and exercise habits to lose more than 50 pounds. Here, in the third of a three-day series, Rob shares tips on how to stay motivated to exercise and eat well:
Use an App to Track your Calories
There are several free apps out there, such as MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and Lifesum that will chart your caloric intake and output. All you have to do on MyFitness Pal, which Rob uses, is enter your current weight, goal weight, and how quickly you would like to lose weight. MyFitnessPal then calculates your ideal net calorie intake per day. By logging your daily food and exercise, you can keep track of how many calories you’re consuming and burning. Many of these apps also have a social component where you can check in with friends and encourage each other to keep on the straight and narrow. Rob encourages everyone to log all of their calories, even if you don’t like the numbers, just to be aware of what you’re eating.
Use an App to Find Healthy Foods
You can also find apps that steer you toward healthy food choices, such as Fooducate, ShopWell, and HealthyOut. ShopWell allows you to scan foods in the market or at home to see if they are a good match for your diet. HealthyOut lets you find and order healthy restaurant foods. Fooducate, which Rob uses, grades all foods based on their nutrition value and caloric content. If a food you search for has a low grade, Fooducate will provide a list of healthy alternatives so you can get the same taste without as many calories.
Enlist the Help of Friends and Family
Find some friends or family members who also want to get healthy and support each other’s fitness and diet goals, advises Rob. Studies show that “the buddy system” works in getting people to stick to new habits. It’s also a good idea to get those you live with on the same page. For example, when Rob decided to cut out eating chips, he asked his wife to leave any chips she bought in the car rather than bring them in the house where he would be tempted. She agreed. She assisted Rob with his goal and wound up eating fewer chips herself, too!
Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Sofi Goode is a Hillsides communication intern in Hillsides Advancement Services, where she assists in promoting its social media and internet presence. She is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University.