Friday, February 22, 2013

Motivation For Fat Loss

 
Finding the motivation to lose fat should be easy.  Nearly 2/3 of Americans are considered overweight or obese.  The side effects of carrying extra fat have been well documented: side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.  Let us not forget about the psychological effects that can be associated with being overweight or obese. Such as low self esteem, decrease sex appeal and decreased libido. So how does one find the motivation to lose fat?  It starts with two choices.  1. A choice to commit to making healthier choices.  2. A choice to be consistent. 
 
Let me be more specific.  It starts with YOU making the two choices.  Understand nobody else can make the choice for YOU. 
 
Here are 5 tips to help you find motivation:
 
1. Action is Power
 
The idea behind losing fat isn’t complicated.  In fact I am sure if I asked, you could easily name 5 or more methods of losing fat. So it is not a lack of knowledge that is holding anyone back.  So, what is holding them back?  Fear!  I believe most people are afraid to take control and make changes in their personal lives.  They have become accustomed to how things are.  When it comes to making changes goals must be set.  The goals need to be realistic.  Start the journey towards losing fat by setting up realistic goals.  And take action.  Take that first step.  Start with the easiest goal and proceed.
 
2. Reward the Day to Day Successes
 
Eating healthy should be one of the goals. But what is eating healthy?  Sure, there is a ton of information about eating organic foods, cutting out processed foods, avoiding sugar and increasing intake of lean proteins, but what are your current eating habits?  Current eating habits will dictate how successful you will be in changing future eating behaviors.  Here is what I mean: if you food eat 3 jelly glazed donuts for breakfast, a candy bar for a mid morning snack, a hamburger, fries and coke for lunch, another candy bar for a mid afternoon snack, then fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on cob for dinner, followed by 4 brownies before bedtime, the likelihood of you switching over to organic foods, cutting out process foods, avoiding sugar and increasing you intake of leans proteins at a moments notice is unlikely.  Sadly, this is how many try to change their eating behaviors.  But it is not realistic and leads to failure.   The goal should be to make small changes.  Using the above example if you cut down to one jelly glazed donut and one brownie you will have eliminated over a 1,000 calories from the diet. This is something worth celebrating!  That change is the equivalent of a 2 pound weight loss after one week.  Okay so you didn’t eat any vegetables (and NO I’m not counting fries as a vegetable).  Once able to sustain the reduction in donuts and brownies a new norm will be established.  Next, make another healthy change perhaps instead of the jelly glazed donut for breakfast you switch to oat meal. Recognize the small changes as a series of successes.
 
3. Don’t focus on the end result
 
Don’t get me wrong the end result is important.  However, it can be quite a distance from the starting point.  This can lead to feelings of despair and hopelessness.  Make sure you have set a series of short terms goals, sometimes referred to as mile markers, and focus on the positives.  We already discussed the impact of small realistic changes to your diet, but what about exercise?  If you are a couch potato now, a short realistic goal might be to walk in a 1k walk.  This could be something you would be ready to do in just a week.  In 30 days you could be ready to do a 5k.  Focusing on the positive short term success is part of the journey towards achieving the end result.
 
4. Seek Out Supporters
 
People who share their goals and associate with like minded individuals are more successful at losing fat.  Seek out people whom you trust and share a common interest or goal.  Sharing your goals with someone you trust makes the goal real and creates a sense of accountability.  For this reason it is important to confide in someone you trust.  It is also important to understand hanging around family and friends who don’t share common goals will dramatically decrease your chances of success.  I know this can be scary but if they are true friends they will understand.  It is about putting yourself in a position to be successful.  This is an action step and often times a difficult step.
 
5. Plan for Success
 
When it comes to fat loss success planning ahead is vital.  When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.  This could not be any truer than when it comes to fat loss. If you plan what to eat on any given day you are much more likely to be successful.  If you don’t plan you will eat what ever is most convenient.  Planning ahead is a choice and takes a commitment.  It is not always easy and comes with a sacrifice.
 
Motivation will vary from day to day.  There will be days motivation is greater than others. Such is life.  However, hold to the 5 tips provided and excel on the days motivation is high and preserver through the days motivation is low.

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