I read a really good article in Thursday's Globe & Mail, one of my local papers, and I wanted to share the highlights with you.
Andre Picard, writer of Second Opinion, talks about what he believes are the keys to successful weight loss, and whether you are following Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, or just doing it on your own, I agree with him. The titles are his, but the comments are mine.
- Eat Breakfast
If you skip breakfast, you're more likely to be ravenous later in the day and gorge on whatever's handy instead of eating a balanced, healthy meal. Also, your body needs food as fuel in the mornings to keep your metabolism going. It's better to eat light portions more often than to have one or two heavy meals.
- Banish Fatty Foods from the Home
If it's not there, you can't just eat it on a whim- it would require you to go out of your way for it. Most of the time, you can convince yourself it's not worth it.
- Be Consistent
I think this one deserves highlighting because it seems to be the one left behind frequently. We want to teach ourselves new habits to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If we're constantly "cheating" or going off program, we're not allowing ourselves to form those healthy habits, and we're never going to cure the desire for going off program. Foods don't have to be forbidden, but you'll find that the longer you avoid something, the less tempting it is to you.
- Plan Activities
It's easy to make excuses to avoid exercise- we've all done it. I used to rack my brain to make up a reason to avoid going to the gym. Our bodies need exercise to be healthy. Find an activity you enjoy- exercise doesn't have to be like a repeat of high school gym class. And you'll find, as I always did, that you feel better after exercising even when you didn't want to do it in the first place.
- Tune Out
Picard has a different idea behind this point, but I interpret it as how to relate to negative people. We've all been in the situation where our friends or family discourage us from losing weight or becoming healthier. I had a friend continually try to tempt me with French fries and dessert. It's not worth it- just keep smiling, listen to your friends who tell you how great you look and ignore the people who drag you down.
- Weigh In
This is a good idea as long as you don't take it to extremes, as I found out. Watching my weight fluctuate daily just brought me down. But I do remember that I felt like I woke up one morning and didn't know how I'd gotten as big as I was- if I'd been weighing myself, the weight couldn't have crept on that quickly without me putting a stop to it. After I reach my goal weight, I plan to continue weighing myself weekly to ensure that I don't slide back again.
- Record It
Food journals can be incredibly helpful. Sometimes we don't realize how much we've eaten until we see it in print! Nutrisystem provides all their clients with a daily food and exercise journal, but even if you're doing this on your own, I strongly suggest keeping one. You might be surprised at how many calories you're taking in by snacking without realizing it!
- Share It
Like I've said before, although I am so glad that my blog has been able to reach so many people and help you on your journies, I write this for myself, too. You, my readers, help keep me accountable. If I didn't have to tell anyone when I put a foot wrong, it would be a lot easier for me to justify going off plan. Thinking about having to tell you about it when I know I am helping to give you a source of motivation always makes me think twice if it's worth it- and it's not. So thank you very much for being a part of my journey, and for allowing me to be part of yours.