One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions people make is to lose weight. And by golly, this year, they mean business! They hop on the bandwagon and start strict diets and strenuous exercise programs.
These are all good plans. However, they fail so often because it is too much drastic change at one time. Anybody can tough it out for awhile. But changing too many old habits all at once is overwhelming.
The key to successful weight loss is a gradual change in lifestyle habits. Jeff Olson wrote The Slight Edge and teaches the principles of doing a “penny’s worth” of effort towards your goals consistently every day.
If you’ve tried and failed and are afraid starting another diet will lead to more failure, here are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to help you get ready to live healthier and lose weight.
Americans have developed a bad cultural habit of excessive screen time. Screen time includes television, computer, and video games.
We end up sitting for hours on end. Everyone has seen food commercials that have gotten them into the kitchen to snack. We already know how this has impacted our health with weight gain and the diseases it causes: heart disease, diabetes, joint pain, etc.
Start breaking the habit! Cut screen time down to 1 to 2 hours a day. Start slowly if this is a drastic step. Chose one day a week to cut down or eliminate screen time. As you get used to this new habit, start adding days to your goal.
Make sure you are replacing some of your screen time with something active. Take up some hobbies, organize your cupboards, clean your baseboards, go for a walk or garden.
We are a nation of high speed junk food junkies. We eat entirely too much processed food just for the sake of convenience. Our microwaves have made including these foods into our diets.
Popcorn, Hot Pockets, frozen pizzas, and TV dinners may help save us time, but they are loaded with fat, salt, and sugar. Read your labels! Even the products labeled “light” or “diet” still have high levels of salt and sugars.
If you and your family have a list of favorite processed foods, decide together which one you could all live without. If giving up an item all together is too hard, cut down the times per month your family eats the food. Keep working through your list until you only eat processed foods on occassion.
Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and place in Ziploc baggies or plastic containers. Cut cheese, fruit and veggies into strips or chunks. Cereals like Frosted Mini-Wheats, crackers, pretzels, nuts and raisins can be packaged (together or separately) for easy to go snacks.
Remember always that sudden massive changes in eating habits or lifestyle practices will certainly lead to failure. If you are trying to change a habit that you are extremely sensitive about, back off!
Look at all of your unhealthy habits and chose the one you have the least emotional reaction to. Work on changing that habit only. Make small changes you can successfully follow through with every day.
Believe In Your Success, I Do!