With 2016 just a few days away, many of us are thinking about making resolutions for the New Year. Well, resolutions are really behavior changes. In the context of a weight loss plan, changing behaviors refers to changing what you have been routinely doing in regard to your eating and exercise routines. You may also think of behaviors as habits. Your weight is what it is because of your eating and exercise habits. While your metabolism plays a significant role, your eating and exercise behaviors are the two areas that you can impact to change your weight. You will either add new behaviors or substitute new, healthier behaviors for your current less healthy ones. It is rare to just stop a behavior without replacing it.
New behaviors involve adding something to your current activities, such as an exercise routine. Often the main challenge is finding the time. For some, it’s in the morning before the main activities of the day; for others, the evening makes more sense.
As far as exercise, the ultimate goal is spending at least 30 minutes most days of the week doing an activity of moderate intensity. The more time you spend exercising, the more calories you will burn. It has been recommended by the American Heart Association that from a cardiovascular health viewpoint, those 30 minutes can be expended all at once or in several blocks of at least 10 minutes each. It makes sense to start slowly, so 10 minutes three days a week may be the perfect starting point for you.
These often revolve around eating behaviors. For instance, instead of drinking sugary beverages, substitute water. While this may sound simple, it takes planning to make sure you do it. You’ll probably want to buy fewer sugary beverages and have them less accessible, too. (Ideally, don’t buy any!) You may need to put notes in your refrigerator on those sugary drinks that remind you to drink water instead.
As you create your weight loss plan, take some time and identify the behaviors you need to change and which ones you’ll tackle first. Don’t try to change them all at once. Make a list and change a few more every week or so.
Don’t forget to check out my website www.insightsforhealth.com where you can set up Health-e Texts to reinforce your new healthier behaviors. To use some of these you must register as a member, but membership is free!
Your comments are welcome.
For Your Health! – Dr. Bob