1) Did you know? The most difficult part of successful weight loss is the first 1-3 years after you have completed your diet. We often see the happy photos of individuals showing how thrilled they are that their pants are WAY too big now. Truth is, a full 80% of dieters re-gain the lost weight and, in repeating the weight loss/weight gain process, the metabolism slows down, making it harder and harder to lose weight each time. A ‘diet’ is only part of the solution. A new lifestyle is the most rewarding and here is where your health coach steps in…
2) Mark Your Objective. Goals are like flowers, they need attention (like a plant needs watering and vitamins) all the time. You make a conscious effort to get to an improvement in your healthy habits, but what you really want is to not throw all that hard work away. If you are maintaining yor weight, weigh yourself frequently to catch small weight gains by being watchful for a few days. Remember the big picture – what is valuable to me? (probably not that doughnut). Think, wait, reflect……
3) Be Constant. Besides the boost that your self-esteem enjoys from sticking to a few new habits consistently, your body will begin to respond as well. Over time, these goals transform themselves into habits and you can move to the next step, however slow these steps may be in becoming part of your daily reality. There is a wonderful new book out called ‘Progress, not Perfection’, a book worth reading and a phrase worth taking to heart.
4) Enjoy your changed habits. Healthy food can be very exciting and adventurous! If you’ve never tried all the possible recipes using the food on your healthy food list, go ahead! Indian food, thai food, organic food, spicy food, fresh fish, awesome vegetarian, sushi. It will take some time to adjust the portion sizes to honor your dedication to reduced calorie intake, but your body and mind will get great satisfaction from a whole new place.
5) Be flexible. A day that did not work out exactly the way you wished is perfectly normal. If you ate too much or did not have time for the midday walk, the best advice is to NOT intend to overcompensate the next day. Wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, say ‘I love you’ and go back to your carefully crafted healthy habits plan – no self-punishment on your agenda….
6) Compensate excess proactively. If you are heading out to a big fiesta, have an apple and a glass of water before leaving to the party. Arrive hungry, but not starving and you will have a lovely dinner at the party, but not 6 plates just out of habit.
7) Eating out can work as well. One recommendation came my way long ago and I have stayed with it ever since. Order 2 dishes and not 3 (first course, second course, dessert). With the main course, order just ONE other course, either first course or dessert and make the ‘extra’ course a raw fruit or vegetable dish. For example, a small green salad to start, or gazpacho. Should the dessert be the dish chosen, then some fruit will do. The main mean can be significantly reduced in calories by cutting extra fat off of the meat, avoiding creamy sauces and greasy/oily food. Avoiding too much bread, butter, and alcohol will add up to calorie savings that, in the course of the year, will tally up to positive results for you.
8) Your physical activity. There is not much to add to the vast information available to us about getting up and getting moving but anything and everything counts. Grabbing a Snickers chocolate bar equals about 3.5 hours of vigorous exercise to burn it off, all things considered, so we can’t do enough to make sure we’re moving our bodies at home, at work, and in our free time.
9) Think Positive. Positive thinking means looking more at the triumphs than the failures, large or small. Understnad that errors are a natural part of change. A ‘treat’ does not necessarily need to be a sweet snack, for example, how about a trip to the movies with a friend instead? Real change comes with not only ‘thinking positive’ but associating positive thoughts with the healthy and fun activities that match your new lifestyle.
10) Be persistent with change. Accept that controlling your weight for many years is achieved by the little changes that you repeat again and again until they form your daily routine. A client of mine made it his goal to drink only one glass of white wine at dinner and not more. It took over a year to stick with the routine, then go off it once or twice, then back to the goal, then off it on the odd holiday or special event, until the new goal stuck in 99% of all situations he was in! Now, for him, even though it took time, the wine is not an issue any more.
Read Full Post »