Top 7 Tips for Weight Loss Success and Long Term Wellness
by Sarah Gogarty ACE-CPT
1. Focus on Behavior changes.
Why do exercise programs and nutrition plans fail? Usually because the person doing them doesn’t follow through with the major life and behavior changes involved. It’s not as simple as “Eat X number of calories per day.” What we put in our mouths and how much we exercise is linked to the way we behave & think. But when we can change the behavior, the success rate can be monumental.
Here’s an example – Let’s say you’re the person who always snacks in front of the TV. Well reduce or eliminate watching TV and you eliminate the behavior. Or you could try to change that habit by adding a positive behavior such as getting up and doing an exercise during the commercial breaks.
2. Establish a Support Group.
Remember that feeling? The Peer Pressure you experienced in school? Well believe it or not, social pressures and the urge to feel accepted does not go away post teen years! When you surround yourself with people making poor life decisions, you are more likely to participate in those poor choices too. Get involved or surround yourself with people who have like-minded goals, or participate in healthy social activities. Join a fitness community or weight loss group to get you started!
3. Make your Fitness FUN.
Why the heck do they call it a “Workout?” Does it have to be such hard “WORK” for it to count as decent exercise? The answer is NO! As long as you’re bringing up that heart rate and working up a little sweat, then you are exercising. If everything inside you screams THIS SUCKS! – even after exercising – then find a different activity to do that you actually like! There are so many different ways to exercise-from traditional training to group fitness, sports and rec, to dancing the night away. Chances are you plan to spend a lot of your time doing these to reach your goals, so make sure you enjoy it! Life is too short to torture yourself.
4. Eat Intuitively.
Food journaling has been a proven way to successfully achieve weight loss. But if that’s just not for you – that’s ok! You can still be successful! As long as you are MINDFULLY EATING, then you’re probably eating well enough. This essentially means to THINK about WHAT you are putting into your mouth. Eating intuitively means not to eat in front of the TV, or in the car. Paying attention to portions and balance your plate with lean protein, healthy carbs & fats; or, planning your meal and snacks ahead. Keep in mind that being prepared in advance with healthy options will significantly aid in your nutritional success.
5. Live Upright.
It’s simple. The more you are on your feet, the more calories you burn. Finding small ways to get on your feet more throughout your day really adds up over the course of a week. In fact, we sit so much as Americans that they’ve given the hazardous practice a medical term. They call it “sitting disease,” and most people who work desk jobs are at risk. “A desk-bound man or woman takes only 5,000 to 6,000 steps a day. That compares with about 18,000 steps a day for the average man and 14,000 for a woman…” Try adding more upright activity in your day to avoid “sitting disease.” For example, get up from your desk every 20 minutes. Park further away from the building and walk. Walk to the local market for milk. Take the stairs, etc. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-01-21-fidget-activity_N.htm
6. Think Well – Be Kind to Yourself.
Our emotions generate hormonal responses that play significant roles in what we do. Therefore it is SO important to get your mind “thinking well.” This is arguably an even more important step than the rest. Without the right mindset, we can’t implement behavior changes and thus achieve goals. Must try tips on how to reach emotional wellness include practicing meditation, using affirmations, visualization tactics, implementing unconditional “Self-Love,” and eliminating personal “FEAR,” or “False Evidence Appearing Real.” ~Gabrielle Bernstein, page 16. “May Cause Miracles.”
7. Give Back!
When it comes to staying positive, staying the course in weight loss, and generating emotional wellness, giving back is a major player. As per Huffington Post article written by Betty Ann Heggie, “Giving detaches us from our obsessive thinking about ourselves. It breaks down loneliness by creating a human connection. Giving and happiness feed one another — both are intertwined. Giving to others is a gift to yourself.” Try adding a little Gratitude and Charity to your schedule for a wellness boost! http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/betty-ann-heggie/positive-effects-of-giving_b_4418893.html