When you are contemplating making lifestyle changes to help weight loss there are some simple techniques that have been tried and tested to help behavioural change.
1. Firstly write down your motivation to lose weight. It may have been some bad news from your doctor with regard to your health, or it maybe that you have a special occasion coming up that you want to look good for.
2. Remember behavioural change is not easy, and the habits that we have developed over a lifetime are difficult to ‘break’ or ‘let go’.
3. Discuss with your family what you are intending to do. Think about if you are ready to make the change, is this priority at the moment. It’s ok to admit ‘this is not the right time’ and you can come back to the change when you feel more confident. This stops you setting yourself up to fail. Behavioural change has to be sustained so the more ready you are the more positive you will be to achieve success.
4. Gather as much information together about healthy eating, and find out what support is out there. The more knowledge you have the more confident you will be to achieve your weight loss goals. Ask your doctor if he/she can recommend any local slimming groups.
5. Make a list of all the benefits of losing weight and keep reminding yourself of those benefits. Stick the list in a visible place, maybe on the fridge door and show it to your family or housemates, who can help support you. This will help you stay positive when things get tough.
6. Plan your changes, by setting yourself very specific goals. For example ‘I want to eat breakfast on a regular basis and take in a healthy packed lunch to work’. Detail how you will achieve this and over what time scale. Plan ahead.
7. Self monitoring is essential to the success of behavioural change. Keep a record of the specified behaviours that you are trying to change. A food and activity diary is a good way to monitor how you are getting on. The research shows that we are more successful at changing behaviour if we self-monitor. Ask yourself ‘what do I want to do differently?’
8. Ongoing support is crucial to successful behavioural change. This can be through a health professional or a weight loss group. You could bring in a fitness instructor, or ask a friend to join you, who is also trying to lose weight. There are also internet forums, chat rooms or web based programmes. Studies have identified that prolonged contact with participants in weight loss programmes is the key to a successful weight outcome.
9. Remember relapses are normal part of change; you won’t be perfect all the time. So rather than feeling that you have failed and give up, look at what you can learn from a ‘bad day’ or ‘week’. Be kind to yourself and reflect on what you have already achieved and get back on track.
Believe in yourself every day and focus on becoming fitter and healthier. A positive outlook can make all the difference.
For more diet, health, food and fitness information visit www.weightplan.com
Tags: activity diary, healthier, motivation, positive, slimming, support, weight loss