Weight Loss Motivation

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Losing Weight with Small Changes

Small changes can result in big results.

I am a runner who has been trying to loose ten pounds for over a year. I often feel frustrated because I do exercise; I run 3-4 miles about five times a week. But I still feel overweight. I believe I have reached the dreaded exercise plateau. Because smaller changes are easier and longer lasting then huge ones, I've decided to tweak my lifestyle instead of attempting a complete overhaul. Here are some small changes that may bring big results.

Exercise tweaks - "Different Day, Different Intensity"
Varying your activities or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also
important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat..." ( by: Gillian Hood-Gabrielson)

I think the idea of varying the intensity of each day is an attainable goal. If I know that today’s hard work means a bit of a respite tomorrow, I think I'll be able to push myself harder. Interval training is another small tweak that has big results. A workout can be measurably more effective simply by increasing the intensity for brief period of time, then backing off.

Diet tweaks

Instead of a croissant at breakfast, I've been eating a yogurt. It seems to stave off the hunger pains for at least an hour longer. I'm slowly removing carbohydrate snacks from my diet in an attempt to eat less.

Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs - New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check. (Quoted from here)

Attitude Tweaks

Reward your behavior, and not your weight. You are probably used to rewarding yourself and being rewarded by others for losing pounds, rather than for altering your behavior. Create a system of rewards for the positive changes you make, rather than the numbers you see on the scale. Make your rewards based on your ability to stick to your goals, and on your changes in thought. When you are able to go through an entire day without self-defeating thoughts, you deserve a reward.

All in all, it is important to remember that your thoughts guide you to action, whether they be positive or negative. If you are self-depreciating in thought, your behaviors will be unproductive, and you will become discouraged easily. If, on the other hand, you acknowledge small accomplishments: more positive self-talk, increased activity, eating more nutritionally balanced meals, feeling healthier, feeling stronger, then your behaviors will reflect that. You will be more encouraged to continue exercising, you will find it easier to resist food temptations, and you will gain self-esteem—not because you are losing weight, but because you are managing your life and your body in a way that is responsible and worthy of praise—and the weight loss that follows will be but a side effect of the behaviors in which you engage. Quoted from Here

This change is the most difficult and the most important. How we speak to ourselves internally greatly affects how we make life choices. I have started to take note of every time I feel fat during the day. When those thoughts come, I label them as negative energy, and move on. If I do not engage in defeatist thinking I will want to eat better and make healthier lifestyle choices. After all if you don’t value yourself, how will you take care of yourself? Losing weight is should be a holistic activity that brings about positive changes on the outside as well as on the inside.


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