Weight Loss Habit Change

Weight Loss Habit Change

In my last blog I discussed the importance of goal setting when trying to lose weight and keep it off.

SMART goalsGoals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & (have a) Timeframe.

Once we have our long-term and short-term goals in place, we then need to develop some new habits to help us meet these goals. Choose one or two small changes that you feel confident you can incorporate into your lifestyle and maintain them over time. It’s important to only attempt one to two at a time, any more than this and it’s likely that you will find it very difficult to maintain them all concurrently.

Example

To meet your long-term goal of losing X amount of weight, you know you need to eat a healthier diet. An easy way of improving your diet is to increase fruit and vegetable intake. This will increase your vitamin, mineral and fibre intake while hopefully acting as a substitute for some other processed food you may have eaten instead.

A simple way to begin would be to say:

“I will have two pieces of fruit each day this week”.

Banana and porridgeThis is easily done, have a sliced banana with porridge in the morning and another piece of fruit with your lunch or as a snack between meals instead of your usual biscuit or chocolate bar. When you have stuck to this habit every day you can build on it the following week, by increasing your vegetable intake in the same manner.

You can use the same method to slowly build up your physical activity level to ensure that it becomes part of your daily routine for example taking the stairs instead of the lift, or parking a bit further from your place of work. Following this approach will improve your chances of success with long-term weight management.

The results of all these small changes make a big difference in the long run.

1lb fatThink about a pound of fat. It contains 3500 calories. To lose around 1 pound of fat per week through dietary means you need to eat 500 less calories a day.

If you ate 100 extra calories than you needed each day, then over the course of a year you could have gained up to 5kg or 11lb. 1 and a half digestive biscuits contains around 100 calories. Small actions have large consequences over time.

So to lose 1lb per week you need to be -500 calories per day. You can do this in 3 ways: 

  1. As above, you can simply eat 500 calories less than the amount you normally would eat to maintain your current weight
  2. You can increase your physical activity to ensure you are burning 500 extra calories per day
  3. You can do a combination of both these methods.

(Hint: the third option is the easiest.)

Think of some healthy habits that you can incorporate into your lifestyle to meet your goals.  I’ll go through some practical advice on this subject in my next blog post.

More Information

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Liam Leech, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

Liam Leech

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

 

 

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