Making the commitment to lose weight and adopt a healthier
approach to food choices and exercise habits is a big step. Before
you decide on the methodology and program that will work best for you, here are
a few things to consider:
Make changes from a "lifestyle" approach—
not a "diet" approach. The diet
mentality is never going to produce the lasting changes you seek. Diets are
temporary and many are far too restrictive. Adopting a lifestyle
approach simply means that you ask one question when considering a change, "Can
I realistically do this for the rest of my life?" If the answer is "No," you need to
re-think the change and make a few adjustments.
Knowledge is power. If
you want to live a healthy lifestyle, gather the knowledge so
you understand what it is that you need to do. From the food that fuels
your body to the exercises that help burn calories and make you
need a basic understand of what it takes.
Never forget the basic weight loss equation. Calories
expended must be greater than calories ingested in order to lose
weight. It truly is
that simple, it's just not always easy! A food and
exercise journal are excellent ways to stay on track.
There are all kinds of ways to track your progress from a small notepad that you
can carry with you, to electronic
logs online. The important thing is to find a way that works for you and fits
Don't try to tackle everything at once, make small changes over
time. Take one step at a time and break the process down
into small changes that you can easily adopt and integrate into
your daily routine. When one change is mastered and
in place, then adopt another one. Making many small,
successful changes over time empowers you and gives you control
over your healthy lifestyle instead of making you a slave to it.
Give yourself a "Restart" button. Every day is not going to
be perfect and there will be times when you stray. That's to be expected, but don't let those moments
blow the entire day! Hit your Restart button and get back
in the game. For some, the button is only a visual image. But for
others, it can be a red sticker on the refrigerator or a circle
drawn in your Food Journal—whatever
works for you.
Dump the internal critic. Weight loss is about doing
something positive for yourself. The last thing you need
is an internal critic breaking you down and making you feel like
a failure. Positive self-talk will reinforce your healthy
choices and empower you to continue striving for your goal.
Treat yourself with compassion and be the kind voice you need to
hear when the day might not be going as well as planned.
Lose only 1-2 pounds per week. You may lose a bit more
than this for the first few weeks when you begin reducing your
calorie intake and increasing your activity, but some of that
extra weight will be water weight. Once your body gets
adjusted to your new lifestyle habits, your weight loss should
be no more than two pounds per week to ensure that your weight
loss is fat and not muscle.
Managing Your Weight