Health and nutrition are foremost in our minds. With the changes in healthcare, most people avoid seeing the doctor – the high deductibles make the cost prohibitive for the average American. It is proven that obesity is a risk factor in a number of life threatening illnesses. Undernutrition is also a serious problem. You may be at your ideal body weight, but perhaps you don’t eat right. We’ve all heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” We only have one life, let’s take care of it with a healthy living plan!
You’ve made the decision to take control of your life. Congratulations! If you have a family, you not only have a responsibility to yourself, but you have a responsibility to your family as well. Studies show that success doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to set your goals and follow a realistic plan.
Set Your Goals
Be realistic in setting your goals. Make sure it’s one you can achieve within a reasonable time period. Realistic, achievable, reasonable goals are more likely to succeed. Get ready to ask yourself the following questions and make a list.
- What outcome would you like to achieve? If you are trying to eat healthier, list your reasons why.
- What steps are necessary to achieve your goals? Remember, it’s easier to change a few behaviors at a time rather than get overwhelmed with a long “to do/to change” list. Many helpful tips are forthcoming, so stay tuned!
- Be committed. It’s critical to success. I suggest making it official with a contract.
- List objectives & behavioral goals.
- Measure your progress with milestones.
- Reward yourself for meeting contract terms.
- Sign it in front of witnesses who care (family or friends).
- Initially, you may want to reward positive behaviors, but after you start to progress, focus your reward on positive results.
TIP #3: FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Find a friend or family member who also want to make healthy changes. Share your goals and plans and check in with each other on a regular basis. Hold each other accountable!
TIP #4: CUT OUT DISTRACTIONS. Eating while preoccupied impairs your brain’s ability to watch your food intake, according to a 2009 review of studies. Turn off the TV, close the laptop, and stop playing games with your smartphone. Your stomach will thank you.
(For Tips #1 & #2 see Start Over/Take Charge!)
What do you see as the biggest challenge?
Now that you’ve made the decision to start and take control, next we’ll take a look at an important weight management strategy. It just may be the most effective tip you can use to reach your goals.
(c) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer