By Eric J. Collier
Cronus Health & Fitness
In the past with our in home personal training services we have found our overweight clients are caught in the trap of blaming themselves for their lack of success—all the while resisting taking responsibility for their choices and constantly searching for the next “best” or “magic pill” program to come along.
Without some key “thinking shifts,” (lifestyle change) they are destined to keep trying what doesn’t work. By using the three ways below we have seen that our overweight clients free themselves from repeating the same ineffective approach and reach their weight loss goals.
#1. Choose an 80/20 Approach Instead of All-or-Nothing
For eating behavior to change in lasting ways, the principle of flexible control should govern the change process, and rigid control should be discouraged.
So how do you establish flexible dietary restraint that leads to weight loss but does not create a surge in dis-inhibition, the emotional backlash that leads to yo-yo dieting?
You encourage an antidote to all-or-nothing thinking: an 80/20 approach that lets you strive to make healthy choices 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time allows for intentional treats and missed exercise bouts and makes provisions for unintended splurges.
An 80/20 approach can be effective only when you can do the following successfully:
A. let go of thinking that perfection is necessary (or even possible) for weight loss and weight maintenance;
B. learn how to give themselves “real,” or guilt-free, permission to include controlled portions of treats as part of their weight loss programs; and
C. develop a recovery plan to rebound quickly from their slips, by “letting go” of a slip when it happens and avoiding subsequent feelings of guilt and negativity.
#2. Seek a Supportive Community as an Essential Asset for Change
Going it alone is an unnecessary and, for most, unproductive approach to weight loss. External support increases adherence and improves weight maintenance. With help from others, you can build a supportive network of professionals, friends and family.
People want real-time interactions with their support networks. Things like using social media to help you stay on track. Access to 24/7 contact with peers allows you to reach out for support any time you are struggling with low motivation or experiencing high temptation.
However, interaction with others who are engaged in the same type of healthy-lifestyle program is more valuable to people than an “open” social media experience like Facebook. The most beneficial thing you can do may therefore be come together with like-minded groups to share experiences, create goals and feel accountable—while still feeling safe and not judged.
#3. Strengthen Goal Setting by Creating a Vision for Change
Basing goals on your individual personality, strengths and restrictions versus established, “by-the-book” exercise prescriptions and formulas is important for the overweight and obese.
A tool that we use has helped clients set effective goals is the SMART technique (the acronym means making goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding and time-based). Setting goals that are simultaneously achievable and rewarding is particularly important in balancing fear of failure with concern that may cause you to lose interest. Keeping this balance in mind will help you moderate your expectations. When you support the notion that modest goals are still valuable goals, you have a better chance of setting realistic goals that they will nonetheless find motivating and exciting.
Another tool for identifying and setting goals is a wellness vision—a written picture of how you want your future to look: how you want to live your life, what you want to do, places you want to go and how you see your relationships, career, fitness, health and other important parts of your evolving life. Having a strong vision will help clients identify their goals and strategize how to achieve them.
In the end one of the hardest things for some people to do is lose weight. For some it’s easier to quit smoking or drinking alcohol.
Try these 3 simple ways to change your behavior and not rely on the “next big thing” program. For more information on this subject or to schedule a complimentary fitness evaluation contact Eric J. Collier 256-509-9807 or visit www.inhomepersonaltrainingservices.com Don’t forget to ask about our Virtual Training Program.