Friday, August 17, 2012

Are You Ready to Lose Weight?

Are you ready for weight loss? Simply put, if you are not ready to change something in your life, you are not going to lose the weight (and keep it off).  People give a lot of thought, researching how to follow a specific diet: Whether it’s South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, or The Cookie Diet.  They read about it and talk to their friends about it; they search for information on the internet, and save up enough money to buy the special bars, and sometimes a membership fee. 

But they don’t give any thought to what it means to change behaviors that have become longstanding, lifestyle habits. Any habit is difficult to break. You know that’s true if you’ve ever tried to stop smoking or biting your nails.  It is almost an instinct when you carry out a habit, and it’s very difficult to just stop in your tracks when the urge hits.

It’s the same with eating.  We have established habits like:
-      - reaching into the cookie jar while we read the mail
-      - grabbing a candy out of a dish when we walk by a coworker’s desk
-      - settling into a cozy chair after dinner instead of going for a walk

The good news is, there are many, many habits that contribute to eating too much and not exercising enough.  And you only have to change a few!  The fact is, you do not have to perform a complete diet overhaul and stop eating everything you’re used to and replace it with all the “healthy” foods you’ve never liked before.  And, you don’t have to start going to the gym for 2 hours every day or start jogging two miles every morning.

You didn’t get to this weight overnight, ingesting huge quantities of food daily.  Small habits you’ve picked up over the years:
- treating yourself to a donut in the morning
- cleaning your kids’ plates after supper
- having ice cream while watching TV in the evening
- running through the fast food drive thru window for a quick lunch
- driving down the block to a friend’s house instead of walking
- eating everything on your plate at a restaurant

These all add up to what might be just 50 or 100 calories a day. But over years it can result in five pounds a year weight gain, and after 5 years that’s 25 pounds! That’s what many are looking to lose—10 or 20 pounds of slowly accumulated weight gain that won’t come off now because of bad habits.  They aren’t very noticeable now, because they are part of our daily routine.

The key to making changes is choosing one change at a time so you aren’t overwhelmed and so it will be easier to stick with.  You can’t really believe you will give up all fast foods, chocolate, and desserts and start eating breakfast, packing your lunch and going to the gym every day all at once.  And that you can keep that up for more than a week!  It’s just too much to humanly expect.

So think about this:
-What is one habit you can change? 
-Where is the best (and easiest) place for you to start?

Choose a healthier way to replace something you’ve been doing that you know isn’t good for you. 

Eat more of something good for you, less of something that isn’t nutritious, or find a way to increase your activity.

Next week, you can add another to your list.  In time you’ll have a lifestyle of healthy habits and the weight will come off without you even feeling like you’re on a weight loss plan!

Take the first step and write a comment to commit to making one, easy change: What will you change this week?

1 comment:

Rachel Page said...

Thanks for this information. When you are preparing to lose weight you need to make sure you're in the right frame of mind.