Going from a completely coach potato lifestyle and eating anything you want to a strict eating and exercise regime will almost always result in disaster for most people. Self control and adopting new healthy habits takes planning and focus. And the best way to achieve this is by starting slow. Change one thing at a time. This is why New Year’s resolutions fail because most of us will put so much pressure on changing five things, we’re pulled in different directions. The end result being we give up. So make one change, stick to it until it becomes a habit and then choose the next. When it comes to weight loss, it’s no different. Here are some ways to start small that could eventually lead to bigger changes in weight loss success.
Diet first then exercise
I’ve read a lot about how important it is to change your diet than exercise. Don’t get me wrong, exercise is very important. But what you must remember is that 80 per cent of your weight loss is down to the diet. So it makes sense to combat that first. Slashing your calorie intake by 300 will be a lot easier to digest than exercising to burn off the same amount. Besides, feeling the effects of eating less combined with sore muscles is hardly going to do your willpower any favours.
Eat more frequently
When people go on a diet, they obviously go for restrictions and tell themselves they can eat just three square meals. If they are hungry outside that window, they deprive themselves and then they risk ruining it all. But a study reveals that there is a positive relationship between self-control and blood glucose levels. The study by Dr Baumeister found that restoring glucose levels appears to replenish self-control. And because more frequent meals will keep blood glucose levels stable, you may be able to resist food temptation better throughout the day. You need the energy from food to have the willpower to exert self-control in order to succeed on your diet. What’s more, with less time between meals, you may even find yourself more satisfied with smaller portions.
Swap food rewarding for an active lifestyle
So often we tell ourselves we can eat that bar of chocolate because we’ve been “good.” Now there’s nothing wrong with this from time to time but why don’t you alternate some of these moments with treating yourself in other ways? Buy yourself something small or enjoy a bath and a bit of “me” time. Better still when arranging social events, why not go and have a workout with a friend or go for a long walk instead of eating out? And if you still want to eat out, well at least you have exercised first!
You see, all it is, we get into habits of thinking or behaving in a certain way. Habits can be replaced so start small and slowly change them until healthier habits become permanent ones. But what are your thoughts? Smaller changes worked for me but would you rather overhaul your entire habits in one go or make small changes? Share! 🙂