Not surprisingly, losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution. In 2014, almost 2 billion adults worldwide are overweight and about a third of that number is obese. That is a whopping 600+ million obese people!
Obesity kills. Being overweight is a major risk factor for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, and cancer.
Obesity is preventable and in theory, easy to remedy. However, in practice, it is extremely difficult because it requires lifestyle change.
Are you one of the weight loss resolutioners? Here are some useful tips for your weight loss mission this New Year.
Acknowledge, Acceptance, And Achievability
Acknowledge your weakness. If you are a food addict, acknowledge it; if you are lazy and have low tolerance for physical effort, acknowledge that exercising would be painful for you. However, it is also very important to acknowledge your need to change and improve your health.
One of the most common mistakes is shooting for the stars because of some sudden surge of inspiration.
Don’t get me wrong, inspiration is great and it is often a sparkplug of something great. But when reality hits you in the face and you realize that it’s going to be difficult, you go crawling back to your bad habits.
Acknowledge that it is NOT EASY.
But the great news is that…. IT GETS EASIER!
Baby Steps Lead To Greater Strides
If you are just starting to adopt a healthy lifestyle, it is very important to start slow and sure — as in, ‘sure’ that you can handle it.
For example, if you are consuming a bottle of soda a day, cutting it out of your diet would be manageable — or if that’s too difficult, you can just consume two bottles per week. The point is to taper off gradually.
As for exercise, you may oblige yourself to walk (jog or run if you can manage) a certain distance every day. It does not need to be too hard for your body but it needs to be something you are not used to.
The whole idea here is to build momentum and not to overwhelm yourself. At the initial phase, you are at your “weakest” state — both in mind and body. You’ll just scare yourself if changes you need to make are too abrupt and unrealistic.
Small manageable changes create consistency and bring progress, albeit small, but progress nonetheless. And that consistent progress will condition your mind that positive change can happen because it has been happening, and you can will it to continue to happen. You will feel that you are in control and on top of things. You will also feel accountable which is what you need to continue on your mission.
Why It Needs To Be Measurable
When you get the ball rolling, you will feel unstoppable until you reach a plateau — a situation where progress such as losing weight seems to slow down to a halt. More often than not, these so-called plateaus are all in the mind.
This happens and this is where things get tricky as it can sap the motivation out of you. Each person responds differently to a weight loss/fitness program and there are countless of programs. Weight loss journey is a personal one. Sooner or later, you are going to find advices from others generic and not much of a help.
The key is to make progress and goals measurable. It’s the only way to know that you are truly not advancing or your body has adjusted to a program (plateau). And when things are measurable, you will realize that there is more to your goal than just losing weight.
You will recognize fitness as a total package. You will find yourself aiming to get stronger, faster, or more athletic. You will realize the importance of stamina, muscle endurance, agility, mobility, etc. and you will try to improve in many of these aspects.
Some examples of things you can measure in your weight loss/fitness program apart from your weight or waistline:
Walking, Running, Biking, Swimming – distance, pace or speed
Food – calories in/out, macros (carbohydrates, protein, fats)
Weight Training – weight, number of repetition
Timed Circuits – Time, number of rounds done
There are many ways to measure progress. You just need to be creative. This way, you can make your programs more interesting. It will motivate you for a very long time.
Be A Scholar And A Guinea Pig
Weight loss is a personal journey. Make sure that you do your homework and research. It shouldn’t be too difficult, you have the internet. And whatever you read up or view on YouTube, you may try and practice them but be discerning and above all, use common sense.
You can try diets like Paleo, Keto, or Low-Carbs. You can do Crossfit, Yoga, Calesthenics or whatever. Just make sure that you are keen in observing your body’s responses. This is the main reason why making things measurable helps. You’d know what works for you and what doesn’t.