Are you motivated to make lifestyle changes?

Successful and sustained weight loss depends on permanent lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy foods and exercising. Knowing that you need to make changes in your life and actually doing it are two different things. You may have to overhaul your eating habits so that you’re eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lowfat dairy products. You’ll need to find time to exercise for at least 30 minutes nearly every day of the week.

As long as your motivation is a healthy one, it doesn’t really matter what it is. Find your motivation and focus on it.

Do you have a realistic picture of how much weight you’ll lose and how quickly?

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process. Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds a week by burning 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day. You can do that through a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity or exercise.

You might lose weight more quickly than that if you make significant changes — just be sure the changes are healthy and can be maintained. Don’t get discouraged if your rate of weight loss slows a bit after bigger initial losses – that is normal.

Have you resolved any emotional issues connected to your weight?

Emotions and food are often intertwined. Anger, stress, grief and boredom can trigger emotional eating. Start by identifying your emotional issues related to food so that you’re prepared for the challenges. Seeking professional help for these emotional challenges may be the first step.

Do you have support and accountability?

Any weight-loss program can be difficult. Having someone in your corner to offer encouragement will help. If you don’t have that someone, consider joining a weight-loss support group or joining a Lifestyle Change/Weight Management Class.

If you want to keep your weight-loss efforts private, you must be accountable to yourself with regular weigh-ins and a log of your diet and activity. You may want to work one-on-one with a Weight Management Consultant.

Have you embraced the weight-loss challenge?

If you don’t have a positive attitude about losing weight, you may not be ready. If you dread what lies ahead, you may be more likely to find excuses that lead to failure. Embrace the vision of your new lifestyle and remain positive. Focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re more active or when you weigh less. Picture yourself celebrating every little success along the way.

You’re ready for weight loss: Now what?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you’re probably ready to make the lifestyle changes necessary to work towards permanent weight loss. You may be able to forge ahead on your own, creating your own lifestyle program for healthy eating and exercising. Or you may feel you need help.

What if you’re not ready?

If you are not ready to start a weight-loss program right now, determine what is holding you back and face those obstacles.

Consider seeking help from your doctor or another professional, such as a certified Lifestyle Change/Weight Management Consultant, to help you work through these issues. Try to address the obstacles and then re-evaluate your readiness. Don’t let the chaos of life become a permanent excuse, however. You will never find and absolutely perfect time.

Still unsure?

If you feel generally positive and upbeat about a weight-loss program, consider starting now. You may never have definitive answers in life. Don’t let that rob you of a chance to achieve your weight-loss goals.

By Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
For details on the next Lifestyle Change/Weight Management Class, contact Janet at JHunt1@PclNet.Net or 256-614-3530.

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