Are you finding it hard to lose weight? We understand that weight gain is a lot easier than weight loss for many, and that weight gain is a common problem over the Christmas season. Exercise Physiologists help many people just like you, to improve their weight and health choices so that a healthy lifestyle becomes a way of life, not a quick fix.
Here we discuss 5 top tips that you can start implementing today, to set you on the right path to success.
1. Set realistic goals and expectations
Don’t be too ambitious! Setting yourself up for success and not failure is important. You don’t want to feel discouraged in week one because you have not reached your first goal.
Set a SMART Goal, and then review your confidence and importance levels.
I want to walk 4 times for 30 minutes within the next 7 days.
Now rate your importance of achieving this, and also your confidence level in achieving this both out of 10, with 1 being “there is no way I can achieve this”, and 10 being “I am going to smash this out of the park!”
Are they above 6 out of 10? If yes, go for it, if no, then you may want to modify your goal to something a little bit more achievable, as chances are it may be too ambitious!
2. Create new habits
It’s a new year, so why not practice new healthy habits and/or try something different. You might find something new and exciting that works better for you.
Again, try not to be too ambitious and change everything at once. Choose one habit and then practice it until it becomes a new habit and part of your everyday lifestyle.
Example, I will pack a piece of fruit everyday to have for morning tea to have with my coffee, rather than having biscuits at work. It’s a small, but effective change to a healthier lifestyle.
3. Be NEAT
When it comes to weight loss, there are a few angles that we can target when trying to increase the amount of energy expended each day. We know planned exercise is important, but our Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, that is, the energy that we burn from undertaking all non exercise, sleeping or eating related activities is also very important, and often overlooked.
As you can appreciate, people who work on their feet, and are active in their jobs have a higher NEAT than those in office jobs. But, you can influence your NEAT by practicing small changes. This might include taking the stairs rather than the lift, standing, rather than sitting, walking around whilst talking on your mobile phone, walking meetings with colleagues, cleaning the house, walking to the shops. Be active as much as you can!
4. Phone a friend
Have you noticed that time flies when you’re having fun!! This can be the same with exercise. Rather than undertaking exercise alone, ask a friend to go with you, or pop in your headphones and talk on the phone to them whilst exercising. If a friend is unavailable, music, podcasts or even netflix whilst on the treadmill are all great ways to keep your mind busy whilst moving!
5. Practice mindfulness
You really can’t out run/out train/out smart a poor diet. If your goal is weight loss, we also need to be mindful of what energy we are consuming through food and drink. Sometimes we eat or drink without thinking, eat on the go, or simply eat because we’re bored, or “it’s there”. Keeping a food and exercise diary can help you to consider your food choices and make informed decisions about any changes that could be made to improve your overall nutrition. Eating Healthy for Adults is a great place to start, comparing your current eating habits to those recommended in the Australian guidelines.
Would you like further and individualised help?
If you’re struggling to set goals or need some help with developing strategies to improve your lifestyle, speak to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist today. They can help you with motivation, setting realistic goals and finding a place to start.
Find more information here
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Wellness Coach and Credentialed Diabetes Educator.