In the lives of busy people, health related issues don’t always get the attention they deserve until there’s a problem. With the media blasting away, it brings to mind some of the hottest topics of concern…one of the biggest areas, no pun intended, being weight loss. In this article we will focus on weight loss, where to begin, how to attain your goals, and how to make your weight loss goals long and hopefully life-lasting.
America is one of the fattest countries in the world. Two thirds of the US population is overweight; one third of the population is obese. It’s no wonder weight loss is on peoples minds. Meal portion sizes are out of control, and the quality of food continues to slide. We have sacrificed the quality and nutrition in our food, for speed and convenience. Year after year, the number of people overweight and obese increases. The scary thing is that obesity is happening at a much younger age; kids are watching more TV and playing more video games, physical education and sports have been cut from schools, soda machines and unhealthy cafeteria food is a staple in this country. Parents have not been good roles models for health and fitness, and their children are paying the price. This is why there has never been a better time than now to take back control of your weight and health. It’s the start of a new year and your journey to a new body.
Here are a 6 ways to make your weight loss a life-long change.
- The first thing you need to do is find out where you are starting. Take measurements of your waist, hips, chest, thighs and anywhere else you would like to see improvement. Weigh yourself, and get your body fat percentage. Have someone take before and after photos. Make sure you get the front, side and back. To see the most dramatic changes wear as little clothing as possible, such as a bathing suit. If you choose to use a personal trainer, many should facilitate all of this for you.
- Set measurable, realistic goals for both short and long term. Studies have shown people will continue to strive for their goals if they have a way of measuring their progress. The issue with not setting measurable goals, is when you start to see results, you may slack off or stop completely. If you are consistently working towards a long-term goal, you will be less likely to quit until it is achieved. For example: Instead just having a goal of losing weight- be specific; “ I want to lose ten pounds and two inches off my waist by February 1st” or, “I want to lose 50lbs and be a size 8 by July 1st”.
- You have to Exercise – Dieting alone is not enough. Much of the weight you lose from diet without exercise will be muscle. Exercise is important because of the significant health benefits, such as, reduces stress, increases energy, and lowers blood pressure and your resting heart rate. Your heart is a muscle and will actually grow and become more efficient with exercise, reducing the instance of heart disease.
- Seek the help of a professional. There are many professionals out there to support you in your health goals; the key is to finding the right one(s). Look for an experienced Personal Trainer- Do your homework with any professional, meet them, ask questions about their qualifications; not all personal trainers are the same. Most have different philosophies on how to get you to your goals; you are going to be spending a lot of time with the person so you want to make sure they are a good match for you. The great thing about this is many trainers offer free consultations.
- Look for someone to help you with your diet, seek a qualified Dietician or Nutritionist. Some personal trainers may be qualified depending on their education and experience. Find what will work for you and your lifestyle; this should not be a fad diet or anything you won’t do for long term, this new diet should be a lifestyle change that is life-lasting.
- Keep working towards your goals, don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon, get back on! You’re bound to make mistakes- keep in mind the changes you make are lifelong, and you want them to last. It’s OK if you had a piece of birthday cake or miss a workout; the important thing is that you don’t continue with your old habits. Move forward and forgive yourself – this is the process to your new life and new body!
Follow these rules and your weight loss goal will be much easier to attain. Remember, health and fitness is a way of life. Best of luck to you! Feel free to contact me anytime to answer any of your questions.