It’s possible to replace negative behaviors with positive ones.
When it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes, we expect to do it for the long haul. We diet, start an exercise plan, and even stop smoking. We’re accomplishing our goals. And then … we slip up.
Giving in to old habits happens. The trick is to avoid the guilt trip and get right back on track. “You do that by identifying your goals and being clear about them,” said Jim Burdumy, an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer and CHEK holistic lifestyle coach at Elite Core Fitness. “What is it you want? Do you want to lose 10 pounds or do you want a lifestyle change? Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds because a special occasion is coming up. Once that goal is met and the special occasion comes and goes, you may gain those 10 pounds back plus some.”
To avoid that yo-yo dieting effect, you have to look at the long term. “Maybe your weight is tied to having low back pain or other health issues,” Burdumy said. “It’s more than just losing weight. It’s a healthy lifestyle change — one that you can stick to once you know what you’re aiming for.”
Once your goals are established, Burdumy recommends the following:
Breaking the yo-yo diet
Ask yourself “do you want to lose weight or is being overweight linked to health problems?” Being overweight can lead to increased risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also puts strain on your joints and back.
Start by observing your eating habits. Observe how much food is on your plate. Is your plate well balanced? Is there a healthy portion of fresh vegetables? Is the portion size large? If you’re not sure, consult your doctor.
Are you rushing through a meal? Often we spend a lot of time preparing our food but quickly scarf it down. Take the time to enjoy your meals.
One way to make sure you don’t overeat and don’t shovel everything into your mouth quickly is to eat your meals around the same time every day. This can stave off hunger, which can lead to overeating. If you’re schedule is off by a few hours, snack on a piece of fruit, a small bag of popcorn, or an energy bar.
September 14, 2016
Janet O’Dell, RN