Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most basic things we can do to improve our health and lower our risk of chronic disease. Yet so many of us who try to lose weight find that the high motivation at the beginning of their new regime soon gives rise to despair and disappointment when their weight loss goals fall short of expectations. One of the most significant things to understand about weight loss is that we reach our ultimate weight through a series of small steps. Each “baby step” brings us closer to our ultimate weight goals. An analogy can be made when we travel to a desired destination. Depending on our mode of transportation, we must proceed through a series of steps via turns, stop signs, and the like to bring us to our destination.
People often fail to reach their weight goals not because they lack willpower, but because they may be unable to learn and recognize the steps necessary to reach their destination. An example of this phenomenon can be seen in what is commonly known as Yo-Yo dieters; those individuals who lose weight at an extremely rapid rate and conversely gain it all back (and then some) throughout the course of their life. Here are a few things to consider as you move toward your weight loss goals.
Lay Groundwork for Gradual Change – No one puts on the weight overnight, so you need to plan to be successful. Begin your journey by setting realistic expectations. A healthy rate of weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week. This is the ideal rate at which we are able lose actual fat tissue. Weight loss exceeding 2 pounds per week is usually indicative of a loss of more than just fat tissue but muscle as well.
Prepare Your Social Climate – Ask those closest to you to support your efforts. Few people eat alone or in isolation; so those around them and the environment in which we eat is as critical as what we eat. Families, friends, and acquaintances can influence what we eat and how much. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support in your goals.
Choose Healthy Options Each Day – What we eat is as important as how much we eat. People sitting down to a meal decide what they want to eat first, and if they even want to eat everything on their plate. Start with the foods that will fill you up early in the meal – vegetables and proteins. You can still enjoy the breads and desserts later, but in smaller portions as you fill up on healthier foods first.
Reaching your weight goals involves getting through the twists and turns of the journey. Succeeding in the smaller steps can lead to reaching the final milestone. Sticking to the right path of your journey is not only important in your success of losing weight but keeping it off for a lifetime.