Lately, for two reasons, I have been thinking about weight loss a lot. One is my own personal journey. The second reason is because I see my clients struggle with losing weight and keeping it off. And I am searching for tools and insights to help support their journey (and mine too!).
I have come to believe that those of us searching for our answer only really need to look as far as ourselves. Unpleasant as it may be to admit, the change needed on this journey comes from within. It may be a lot easier (and probably feels a lot safer) to look to the outside world for blame or for explanation why we are over weight. But the truth is, whether we are aware of it or not, we are responsible.
Weight loss is an area of our life where it is up to us to create our own solution. To succeed in the long run, we need to own it!
This doesn’t mean that we have to slog along on our own. It just means that the commitment to change and being open to change must come from within us. The best way – and I think the only way – to lose weight and keep it off is to make a commitment to ourselves to get a little bit better each day. No need to shoot for 100% perfection. And no reason to set up rigid rules of what we can and can’t eat. In addition to this mindset of incremental change, keeping it simple makes change more manageable and more real. Here are my thoughts on where we can get a little bit better and keep it simple.
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Create a way for yourself to eat less – a little bit at a time.
Some people love to count calories, points, and macro-nutrients. Others don’t. Using smaller plates or storing food in portioned containers are also ways that help people eat smaller portions.
A simpler way, at least in my mind, is to think about the habits of eating slowly and eating to 80% full. (These are the skills we teach in our Nutrition & Lifestyle Program.) By focusing on these skills, we learn how to differentiate between physical hunger and other triggers (like boredom and stress) that tell us it’s time to eat. The path to weight loss may be slow and steady by using these two skills to eat less, but my belief is that the weight loss is easier to maintain over time.
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Teach yourself how to choose healthier foods – 0ne choice at a time.
In the course of one day, we make at least 10-15 food choices (3 to 4 meals a day; 3-4 foods at each meal). If we made a commitment to ourselves to make a better choice at least once a day, we could make radical change in our nutrition over the course of several months. It can be that simple. No food is good or bad. Some food is just better than others. And with a mindset of choosing a little bit better most of the time, you will consistently move towards your goal.
Move a little more – and keep doing it more and more.
Most people are “movement” starved. They don’t get enough of it to be healthy. The goal of movement (or exercise) is less about burning calories and more about making your body work as efficiently and effectively as it can. Since our physiological functions work less efficiently as we get older, we need to work more consistently and persistently to keep our bodies active and healthy.
If you don’t move much during the day, best way to start is to take 5 minutes and move. Take a walking break at work. Get up and do some gentle stretches. Maybe turn on some music and do a little dancing. Just move. Then when 5 minutes a day starts to be a habit, add another 5 minutes. The American Heart Associate recommends at 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise in a week. If you start moving 5 minutes a day, you are a quarter of the way there in your first week. Ten minutes a day – you are half way there! Incremental change over time will get you to your goal!
Find at least one thing a day that you like about yourself
The more positive view we have about ourselves, the more likely we will find success in our weight loss journey. Learning to appreciate our strengths and be okay with our vulnerabilities makes us more open to change. With positive and encouraging thoughts, we create the possibility of change in our minds. And with that energy, we can more easily lead ourselves toward our goals!
No need to struggle on your own to lose weight! Contact Pam to schedule your complimentary fitness consultation. (630-653-8152; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630-653-8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation.
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