We have become accustomed to habitual behaviours, not always for the best! In order to change these behaviours we need to address our mindset.
We first need to change our ideas of self-loathing, this only promotes negative thought patterns. Our focus should be instead aimed at positive outcomes from changing routines. The benefits of healthy eating and regular activity spread far and wide.
We need to think about how healthy eating can affect not just weight, but mood, metabolism, digestion and overall body function. Sometimes it’s not just what we eat but the amount that needs to change, also the time we eat can play a big part in weight loss. If you eat late at night, you won’t be able to burn those calories off.
In order to lose between 1 to 3 pounds of body fat per week we should create a deficit of calories to the tune of 500 per day. I recommend doing this by reducing food intake by 250 cals and burning the rest off through activity.
These figures are basic and if you can burn more calories off through exercise, and reduce your calorie intake further, you will obviously lose more weight. Initially, small amounts of activity over short periods of time will see a reduction in body fat.
Moderate intensity exercise such as walking for instance, over a period of between 20 – 30 minutes is shown to improve mood, cognitive function, heart and lung health, and reduce the risk of dementia, heart disease, obesity and alzheimers disease drastically. Swimming is also a great way of exercising without loading weight onto the joints.
Setting realistic short term goals
This has been shown to be highly successful in weight loss programmes. By setting small achievable goals each day, your ultimate goals become more accessible. A quick fix is a temporary one, in order to maintain your achievements, time and repeated behavioural changes need to be employed. Daily goals can be something like:
Today I’m going to walk for 30 minutes without stopping or I will eat some fruit and vegetables today, anything that will positively change your routine and reduce calories by 500 per day.
Positivity is a powerful assistant in reaching goals and staying on track. There will be days when you are feeling less than 100%, that’s normal and everyone has those days, everyone! You have to stay on track and not get phased by it. I often find if I’m not feeling great, a session in the gym will soon put that right.
When you exercise for around 30 minutes or more, certain chemicals are produced in the brain that make you feel good. A natural high, that’s free! What could be better?
Thinking you are fat or overweight will enourage and sustain poor habits. Think about the benefits of changing your habits, you will look and feel fitter. Your teeth and bones become stronger, your eyes become clearer, your skin improves, you can breath better and easier, you feel more confident and stress less. These are but a few of the benefits, you will feel many more as you progress on your journey. You must take that first difficult step, once you have, the rest will fall into place. You may have a lapse, but don’t give up, never give up! Pick up where you left off and reach that goal