November 8, 2010
It’s NOT About the Calories!
Weight loss seems so simple.
Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose that dreaded belly fat for good.
But ask any of the 50+ million individuals who are attempting to lose weight each year and they will tell you it is not that easy.
It’s not just changing what you eat and exercising.
It feels like a battle.
After all, you are tackling the 10 year daily visit to the vending machine habit, the 20 year snacking while watching TV habit, or maybe the “dinner’s not complete unless I eat something sweet” conviction.
If you want to kick those bad habits that prevent you from eating fewer calories overall and few quality calories, than you need to be prepared to understand and change your behaviors.
To get you started, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
* Know Yourself:
First, understand your motivation.
Why do you want to lose weight?
If you do not have a reason that is truly meaningful to you, than you will have a tough road to climb.
People who attempt weight loss because they feel they should, but aren’t invested, won’t be able to make the necessary permanent change in behavior.
If you can’t identify a reason, brainstorm.
Write down every possible reason why you want to lose weight, set it aside for a day or so.
When you return to the list, write down why that reason is important to you (what will it do for you specifically).
When you’ve identified your top 3 and you feel strongly about them, it’s time to get started.
If you still struggle, put the list away and return every couple of days, adding answers and revisiting old ones until you have identified your reason WHY.
* Motivate Yourself
Once you have identified the very specific reason as to why, hang onto it.
Make visible reminders.
The reminders could be pictures of yourself, your kids, a swimsuit model hung in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., or the reminder may be a pair of pants you would like to fit into.
When you are feeling like giving up, try on the pants.
Notice how they fit, where they are still tight, where they have gotten bigger.
Now imagine what it will be like to fit into them again.
Take an index card and write one sentence summarizing your motivation.
Carry the card with you.
Read it when your motivation wanes.
* Coach Yourself
We are our own worst enemy.
Despite working hard at changing our behaviors and making efforts to make it happen, we subtly tell ourselves things like “I hope I can do this”, “I’ve been good, I deserve to take a day off”, or “I blew it today, I might as well write today off and start fresh tomorrow.”
The problem with these thoughts is they are all negative.
Telling yourself you hope you can do this indicates uncertainty and that some element is not within your control. Remember weight loss is possible. Direct your thoughts positively and keep your motivation in sight.
* Reframe Your Mind
Put exercise in the same perspective as the rest of your life. A lot of people think of exercise as something extra in their lives; something that happens when they have the time.
Treat exercise as though it’s obligatory.
When you wake up each day, plan your exercise as just something else that needs to happen.
* Celebrate You!
Do you give your best to your job, your family, and your friends but never devote anything worthwhile to yourself?
Use these behavior changes as an opportunity to put yourself first. Remind yourself you are taking steps toward a healthier, leaner you. If you do not see changes in your body or on the scale immediately, be patient.
Fat loss WILL happen when you remain committed to your goal.
Calories DO matter, so you should have an idea of just how many you are eating if you want to be leaner, sexier, and stronger!
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