Following on from last weeks blog, here is tip number 3 for How to Lose Weight as outlined by Michelle Butler, clinical manager for Spectrum Health’s Dietetics services.
Tip No 3……. Choose 2 -3 small changes you can start with and write these down.
Don’t set the bar too high. Goals don’t necessarily have to be big ones. To improve goal achievement, make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Start with making a long term goal followed by short term goals. Weight loss can be achieved with small changes. Here are a few ideas of small changes:
- I will only have one slice of toast in the morning instead of two swimming for exercise
- I will get off the bus a few stops early and walk
- I will take up one extra class at the gym
- I will make my own lunch 3 days out of 5
- I will go for a walk for 15 minutes during my lunch break
- I will have diet drinks instead of original drinks
When you are successful with implementing these changes you can begin to add a few more. The aim is to start small but keep walking.
National guidelines suggest that we should be working out for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Meeting these recommendations for most people requires a big change. Whereas if you make this your long-term goal, that is time specific, your small changes will lead you on the right path to achieving this.
Long-term Goal – ‘In 2 months times I want to be going to the gym or doing exercise 5 times a week’.
You just have to ask yourself what small changes you will make each week to get you there.
Research has shown that small reductions in conscious energy intake and increases in activity levels can reduce excessive weight gain. Small changes are more feasible to achieve and maintain than large changes. I am not implying that small lifestyle changes will have a greater impact on body weight than will larger ones but rather that small sustainable changes are better than larger ones that cannot be achieved or sustained. Achieving small lifestyle changes can also lead to increased self efficacy and can help to stimulate us to make additional small changes. Before you know it, you will be at the gym 5 times a week and consuming a lot less calories than before.
Choose foods and drinks that are low in fat and sugar and limit sweet and salty snacks.
Half fill your plate with vegetables/salad and divide the other half between meat, fish, egg or beans and carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, pasta or bread.
Think you might benefit from expert help for your weight loss? Visit our weight loss programme page for more information. If you feel you would benefit from meeting with one of your Dietitians, please feel free to book an appointment.
In case you missed it last week, here is Tip No. 1 and Tip No 2. to help kick start your weight loss… And don’t forget to keep an eye out next week for Tip No !