14 Aug Small Changes. Big Differences.
These days, everything is at our fingertips. Smart phones make it easy to order, pay and connect with the click of a button. Weight loss prescription medications promise quick and long-lasting results.
However, it’s important to remember: there is no quick fix or magic pill for weight loss. It takes effort and commitment, but the end results are worth the effort.
Take the first step
Weight loss can have a HUGE impact on your overall health. It can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and other chronic health issues. Losing weight can also help alleviate pressure on your joints and back. For each pound lost, you take off 4 POUNDS of pressure. Imagine, losing 10 pounds and relieving 40 pounds of pressure off your back or knees. Now, that seems worth it!
The recommended rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week or 4-8 pounds over a month. When you are changing your behaviors, weight loss may be slower. But, in the end, you will have made the changes needed to keep the weight off for good! The first step to successful weight loss and weight management is making the decision that YOU need to make a change.
The challenge: Take inventory of your diet
The challenge for this month is to take inventory of your diet. As you evaluate your eating habits, ask yourself, “What changes have I realistically made to improve my health?” You do not have to change everything all at once, but know that small changes over time will help keep the weight off. Usually, a small change like removing sugar sweetened beverages from your diet can help start you on your weight loss journey.
An easy way to start taking inventory of your diet is by keeping a food journal. Medical studies show keeping a food journal DOUBLES your weight loss! Remember, there is no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss. If regular notebook paper isn’t your thing, there are a number of hardcopy journals, like this one. There are also plenty of weight loss websites and mobile apps, like My Fitness Pal, available to help you keep track of your diet and exercise habits.
Bad behaviors that make gaining weight more likely
After you’ve logged a few days into your food journal, you’ll probably begin to notice trends. Read through the following behaviors as a starting point in evaluating your diet and eating habits, and remember, you are what you eat.
- Consuming too many foods and beverages with added sugars (juices, Gatorade/sports drinks, soda, coffee with sugar or sweeteners, milkshakes, etc.)
- Eating excess of refined grains (white bread or bread products, cakes, cookies, etc.)
- Eating big portions or overeating at meal times (try using a smaller plate at meal times)
- Skipping meals
- Eating a lot of meals away from home
- Grazing all day on high-calorie snacks
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Eating for emotional reasons (depression, stress, anxiety)
- Eating in front of a screen (mobile device, television or computer)
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) offers great online resources on ways to make changes in your eating behaviors: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/tips-for-weight-loss/what-a-healthy-weight-loss-plan-really-looks-like
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