Losing weight one step at a time

Blog, Wellness

By: Madeleine Ortiz

There is something so appealing about a “makeover show.” In the span of less than an hour we watch professionals take a person from feeling sad and discouraged to glowing inside and out. The person who received the makeover has new hair, new clothes, a new workout routine, a new diet, and sometimes even a new house! Their friends and family don’t even recognize them and everyone (even the viewers!) are crying tears of joy. It is inspirational enough to make someone want to toss their entire pantry and wardrobe and then spend the rest of their Sunday making a list of twenty-five things that will be different when Monday morning arrives.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been in the shoes of the Sunday night list maker, and Karen Tulloch, registered kinesiologist and manager of program development at the Medical Weight Management Program in Canada, tells us overdoing initial goal setting is a very common phenomenon. “We get a little crazy with goal setting,” she says, “and people start making to do lists rather than goals.” The better option, according to Tulloch, is pick just one thing and focus only on that.

To get started, she suggests choosing one realistic goal that will benefit your health. Write the goal down and stay focused on that single item until you have “consistent success.” Tulloch continues to say, “And once [you’ve] got consistent success, maybe over the next two or three weeks… add in another goal.” By working on one goal at a time, habits become second nature as opposed to a list of things you have to remember. Goal setting becomes less laborious and more joyful.

You can choose any goal to get started and there’s no limit as to how many you can add over time. Choose something realistic and measurable… and get ready to succeed. Here’s a great list of “do one thing” suggestions to help you get started.

  • Eat a balanced breakfast everyday
  • Eliminate or reduce soda or other sugary drinks from your diet.
  • Add 10 minutes of meditation at least 4 days per week.
  • Perform 30 minutes of strength training at least 2 days per week.
  • Portion out every snack before eating and stick to the portion size.
  • Walk for at least 20 minutes at least 3 days per week.
  • Drink at least 64 oz of water daily.
  • Replace 30 minutes of screen time with reading or other activity daily.
  • Practice a one minute deep breathing exercise at least twice a day every day.
  • Stay off your phone and other screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Consume a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables daily.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

The extreme makeover model is an alluring one, but doing one thing at a time is easier and more sustainable in the long run. “success begets success,” Tulloch informs. And there’s no better feeling than that.

If you would like to learn about healthy ways to lose weight, click here .

To find a weight management physician in the United States near you, click here.

To find a weight management physician in Canada near you, click here.

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