Our portions today are out of control. This isn’t something that is going to change overnight but taking a few steps at a time and sticking to it, you can make positive changes in your health and in your life. Here are the steps you need to succeed:
- Self Monitor – you must keep track of your behavior through a food record and a weekly weight record. By keeping track of the food you are putting in your mouth, you are aware at all times what you’ve eating throughout the day and you are better able to monitor exactly where the calories are coming from. He recommended weighing in weekly on the same scale in front of someone. This can be a family member, a friend, whomever you wish but it will hold you accountable and give you the motivation you need to stay on track.
- Stimulus Control – you must change your environment. This means cleaning out your cupboard. Get rid of the foods that are doing you the most damage. It doesn’t mean you have to give up these foods completely, just don’t keep them in your house. For example, if you love ice cream, go to Dairy Queen and have one serving once in a while, don’t keep it in the freezer and indulge every day. Another way to change your environment is to lay out your exercise clothes. If you see them out, you are more likely to put them on and do some type of physical activity.
- Cognitive Restructuring – change your way of thinking. Be realistic in your expectations. You may want to lose 50 pounds but this will not happen in two weeks. Set your goal on 5 pounds at a time and make sure your goals include increasing physical activity or quitting smoking or something that benefits your health other than weight loss.
- Stress Management – It is very hard to bring about a behavioral change when someone is stressed out. Exercise is key in balancing out your stress level.
- Social Support – don’t go it alone. Invite a friend or family member to take this lifestyle change journey with you. Having someone to vent to and lend support to helps make the journey bearable.
- Contingency Management – positive reinforcement. Reward yourself for successes that come your way. Whether it’s a night out with friends or a new pair shoes, make sure to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve done and the goals you’ve accomplished. You deserve it!