Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Are You Ready to Step Off the Weight Loss Merry-Go-Round? Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about starting with small adjustments to your nutrition and activity habits rather than making lots of drastic changes. You can find that post here. However, there is an effective and ineffective way to do that.

Make a plan, write it down and be specific.

Deciding that you're going to "cut back" on your MickeyD's habit is not the way to go. The same with saying you're going to "start exercising."

What exactly are you going to do? Be specific and write it down. Post it on your bathroom mirror or someplace prominent.

If you currently eat fast food 5 times a week, decide to limit your trips to 2.

If you're best described as a couch potato, commit to something like 10 or 15 minutes of exercise a day. You can alternate days between cardio (walking, biking, jogging, elliptical, etc.) and resistance training (using bodyweight exercises, bands, dumbbells, etc.)

Do you raid the vending machine every afternoon? Plan to skip the Twix bars and pack something healthy for your afternoon snack (fruit, plain almonds or cashews, low-fat string cheese, yogurt, etc.).

Pick 2 or 3 things to improve and write them down. Even better would be to write or print out a contract with yourself that you sign and date.

As you master those items, you'll need to make other changes (increase your veggie intake, decrease the amount of processed food, etc.) or set the bar higher on your current changes (increase your exercise minutes, cut back even more on the fast food, etc.) to continue improving. But, remember, the point is to not to overwhelm yourself with too many major changes at once.


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