Losing weight and keeping it off is a long term commitment that requires a day to day focus.
A-E-I-O-U are the letters that spell success and can guide your daily efforts.
A Start with an Action plan
Think of your action plan as a very specific, daily/weekly “To Do” list. It should focus on what you are going to do, NOT what you want to happen. For example, “I will prepare my lunch and bring it to work with me everyday this week”.
E What are your Expectations and Exercise habits
You need to take a reality check on the action plan you just set. Have you ever actually prepared your own lunch and brought it to work? Have you ever done this every day of the week? If there is no evidence that you can actually do this you may need to think of a smaller step for your starting point. For example, “I will prepare my lunch and bring it to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”
It is also helpful to assess your confidence in your ability to complete this action. Using a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing no confidence and 10 representing total confidence, choose the number that best represents your belief in whether you can complete the task now. If your number is less than 7 the likelihood of you succeeding is not high. Rather than setting yourself up for failure and feeling bad about yourself, start with an easier action plan to build up your confidence.
Exercise helps you build and maintain muscle. This is the best way to boost your metabolism and help you achieve your healthy weight goals. According to the National Weight Control Registry, which is the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance, 94% of people who lost weight and kept it off increased their physical activity. The most frequently reported form of activity is walking. Keeping track of daily activity with a smart phone app or a gadget like a fitbit can help motivate you to move more and show you your progress over time.
I Your calorie Intake is important
Awareness of how much and what kinds of food you eat everyday is essential to weight loss success. This is especially helpful when your food choices or portion sizes start slipping back to your old habits. Sometimes it is just an excess of 50-100 calories a day that prevents you from losing weight or keeping it off. Unless you focus on, but are not obsessed about, what and how much you eat, you may consume more calories than you realize.
O What Outcome do you want
After all your efforts, how will you know if your are succeeding? You need to be specific about your intended outcome and have a way to measure it. Just stepping on the scale to measure progress can become very discouraging. Instead of the scale, consider measuring your waist at its largest point (not where your pants sit above your hips). Excess belly fat is associated with increased health problems. Blood pressure, sugar or cholesterol levels will also improve over time when eating better and moving more. This is another way to monitor your progress progress month to month. Finally, don’t forget to appreciate that good feeling and sense of accomplishment that comes from making positive lifestyle changes.
U YoU can make it happen
Changes we think we should make are more difficult to achieve than habits we want to change. Your efforts to change your lifestyle need to be for YOU, not the food police in your life, your doctor or cultural expectations. Take time to compassionately and realistically think about your habits and identify a small step you can take now.
Small Steps Can Lead To Big Changes In Your Health!