Weight Loss Myths
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (Jan 31, 2013) revealed that we really don’t have the research to support many of the beliefs we hold about how to lose weight and keep it off. Because I am a bit of a science nerd and believe in the scientific method to help us sort out “fact vs fiction”, I am relieved to read this report. However, I also want to point out that these newly identified myths are not necessarily and entirely false. That’s the point – they have not been “tested”. So, some of them actually might turn out to be “accurate” – notice how I avoid the word “true/truth”.
Am I splitting hairs here? Well, a little. Except I do want to make the point that however you choose to get ready and make your behavior change plan to lose weight and increase your fitness, it has to work over the long haul. Maybe I am speaking from 20 years of clinical experience and practice wisdom and less from any studies I have published myself. I have seen too many people, too many times jump into rapid, ambitious eating/exercise plans only to go from seeing results early to then experiencing “burn out” and frustration and eventually returning to the old behavior patterns. Now, granted, I am speaking as a psychotherapist when I say this; unless you have made mental shift necessary to work at sustaining these new behaviors, you will most likely find yourself returning to your old behaviors. Bottom line? There is no “holy grail” of weight loss and increased fitness. There are numerous paths to achieve this goal. Do some soul searching and find the path that is best for you.
It’s been a little over 1 week since I last wrote. It’s also been 3 weeks into New Year’s Resolution season and I am beginning to see the typical crumble and cracking of those once exciting commitments to change. It’s normal. It’s the human condition. I think what’s hard for me to witness as Nutritionist/Fitness Expert and all-around Professional Motivator is the disappointment. Not my disappointment. I’m speaking of the cycle of change and the normal phase of stumbling and frustration that happens as we set goals and attempt to achieve them. We experience barriers. That’s when I witness people’s disappointment. Again, normal. It’s how we react to the disappointment that determines whether or not we stick with our commitment to change. We can either get stuck in it or we can whine about it for a little bit and then let it go and try again. I vote for reaction #2. Allow yourself 1 Whine per day. Then, stop whining and keep trying.
Try with those really small steps every single day. Trust me, they do lead to change.
Change Your Mind, Change Your Body
As a Therapist, Nutritionist and Fitness Professional, I often get asked why it’s so hard to stick with making healthier choices both in food and fitness. Seems like we can all manage the new behaviors for the short term, right? It’s the long term change that seems so elusive. Between now and February 9th, I’d like to share some tips/tools/encouragement/support as you embark on 2013 and the hopeful changes you have planned.
Tip#1: attitude is everything – which is what this photo is all about. If you go into lifestyle change without first getting ready to make change, you are most likely going to fail. What does it mean to get ready? Ok – this is another thing I see often as I work with people’s change process. They know where they are now and where they want to be, but really have no specific idea of how to get there. And, I do mean specific idea. They have vague generalities. For example: I want to lose 20 lbs in 4 months. Great! The plan: eat less, exercise more or don’t eat carbs….something like that. Not bad – but, what do you do with each and every moment of each and every day between now and the 4 months from now? That’s where I see people slip, slide and fall. For example, what do you do when 1. You didn’t get the grocery store that week? 2. kids are home sick? 3. work deadlines? 4. going out to eat with friends? 5. you just don’t feel like trying any more? etc, etc, etc. These are the specifics, the details of our daily lives that derail us from eating well and exercising every single day = consistency = success!
So, I leave you with getting ready – really ready to make these fantastic changes you want to see. And, keep me posted!
Nutrition: Eat Simply
So many times we make eating well complicated when in reality it’s quite simple. We choose to make it hard by imposing so many rules: what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat. As you think about making changes to your Nutrition Plan, start with the basics and focus on what you can improve upon, not what you “can’t eat”.