Resolving to weigh less, eat well, and be strong in 2017? We’ve assembled our dream team of QC Fitness and Nutrition Experts to provide “Eight Weeks to a Better You”! In Week #4, working day in and out gets the job done, but staying consistent is tough. Fitness and nutrition experts, Jeni Tackett and Aryn Lloyd, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, show you how.
QC Bloggers: It’s Not a Race, but a Lifestyle
Jeni Tackett on Temptations:
You are 4 weeks into your lifestyle changes. Valentine’s Day and Girl Scout Cookies are right around the corner.
Remember that no foods are off limits but you need to be aware of portions. If you are desperate for chocolate, purchase a small portion rather than a large bag.
You need to believe that you can make changes and eat a healthy diet for the rest of your life!
How is your attitude?
People with a positive outlook tend to lead healthier lives. If you find yourself feeling too deprived, or thinking the weight isn’t coming off fast enough, stop the negative thoughts. Think of something positive about your journey!
Know that this is for life, so even enjoying a small indulgence is part of life, too.
Aryn Lloyd on Negative Thoughts:
Sometimes we see ourselves as a success or failure. We expect perfection, or our plans don’t turn out the way we intended.
We might compare ourselves to others, or feel like we should be doing what everyone else is doing. We should be on a diet. The list goes on.
As Jeni points out, your attitude and the way you think affect your lifestyle choices.
The good news is that you have the ability to change your mindset in a positive way by talking back to your negative thoughts! Sometimes our negative thoughts can lead to overeating or being inactive.
To avoid this pitfall, try to catch yourself by identifying your negative thoughts. Visualize a big stop sign and say stop! or halt! to yourself.
Try to switch that negative thought to a more positive thought.
Hint: A great time to practice this is during exercise!
We need to allow room for slip-ups and to get back on track, work toward balance, remind ourselves that health isn’t a race, learn what is difficult for us. Ten minutes of exercise is better than none. So give something a try, even if it is hard or the weather isn’t nice out.
Jeni on Weight Loss Plateaus:
When your weight loss plateaus (which it always does), you need to focus on the other positive aspects of healthy eating.
If you are increasing the fruits and vegetables in your diet, then you are getting more fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which are important for your heart, stomach, and intestinal health.
If you have increased the whole grains, beans, and nuts in your diet, then you are getting more magnesium and fiber. Magnesium is important for blood pressure control.
Overall healthier eating gives you more energy, and reduces that sluggish feeling after a high fat, high sugar meal or snack.
Aryn on the power of FITT:
Weight plateaus are a normal experience. Most find when they incorporate exercise, they also start gaining muscle. This is a good thing! Muscle makes you more physically fit, and enables you to do activities better, because you are stronger.
A plateau means it is time to see if you need to change your FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type).
Do you need to increase frequency or number of times per week you are active?
How about your intensity? Could you walk faster, add some hills, or an incline, increase the weight or resistance?
Could you increase the amount of time in your workout to burn more calories? Could you vary time of day?
Last, have you considered changing the type of exercise?
Explore which exercises or lifestyle activities burn the most calories. Fit-o-meter is a great tool.
Focus on all of the other benefits- besides weight loss – of exercise. They include feeling better, improved mood, lowered overall blood sugar, lowered blood pressures, lowered triglycerides, and raised HDL, or good cholesterol.
Keeping a journal of your healthy eating will allow you to see your progress.
Try weighing yourself just weekly, on the same day, and time of day.
Take measurements weekly, on a different day, for motivation when the scale does not change.
Keep your goals written down and visible: on your refrigerator, on your desk at work, or by the bed.
Keeping your goals forefront in your mind may help you resist chocolate, brought into work, or the desire to drive to Whitey’s in the evening.
Try including your physical activity minutes, your steps per day, or the calories burned, in your food journal as well.
You will become more mindful of what you are doing, and see what activity changes to make for the next week.
If you compare your 200-calorie candy bar and the 40 minutes it took to burn it off, the candy bar might not seem as tempting next time.
If you don’t like the scale, try using a measuring tape for tracking changes in your waist. You can purchase a measuring tape at a craft or sewing store.
Try setting your walking shoes out so they are visible. If you set them right by the door, or right by your bed, rather than your slippers, you may be more likely to use them.
Setting a few small goals, and then giving yourself a non-food reward, may keep you motivated.
Non-food rewards could include a massage, pedicure, personal training session, weekend trip, or night out at the movies.
Having a reward to look forward to can increase your motivation to continue living your healthy lifestyle.
We all need reminders to be active and to work on our goals.
Google just implemented a new goal scheduler on its calendar app. You can assign exercise goals in your phone using the Google app, by clicking the plus sign. Google will find free time in your schedule to input exercise into your calendar.
Don’t forget to reward your progress along the way. Brainstorm some small rewards for accomplishing those smaller weekly tasks, and pick out a larger prize for the end goal. Keep your eye on the prize for motivation, and, remember, the biggest intangible prize is better health!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity and Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|
|Aryn Lloyd, Cody Lichthardt, and Holley Blaser are personal trainers at Rock Valley Health. You can read their bios and other blog posts by clicking here.|