In Week #4, your LMQC bloggers Jeni Tackett and Aryn Lloyd, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, remind you that this is not a race, but a new lifestyle. Here’s how to handle the negative thoughts, diet temptations and weight plateaus that dog any fitness challenge.
Foil negativity with a new mindset
Jeni Tackett: How is your attitude? Are you struggling to believe that you’ll reach your goal?
If you’re feeling too deprived, you might feel pessimistic.
People with a positive outlook tend to lead healthier lives. You need to believe that you can make changes and eat a healthy diet for the rest of your life!
So, if you’re tempted by a food that you’ve designated off-limits, maybe it’s time to reconsider. You’re changing your lifestyle, after all, and need to be flexible.
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.
Remember that this is for life, so even enjoying a small indulgence is part of life, too.
And think of something positive about your journey.
Aryn Lloyd: 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!
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.
Get past weight loss plateaus
Jeni: 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: 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. This exercise calculator 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.
Use strategies and tools to keep you on track
Jeni: Try taking these steps to bolster your resolve:
*Keep a journal of your healthy eating will allow you to see your progress.
*Weigh 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. The list may help you resist chocolate, brought in to work, or the desire to drive to Whitey’s in the evening.
*Set a few small goals, and give yourself a non-food reward, like 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.
Aryn: We all need reminders to be active and to work on our goals. Try these tactics:
*Record your physical activity minutes, your steps per day, or the calories burned, in your training or food journal. You will become more mindful of what you are doing, and see what activity changes to make for the next week.
*Compare your 200-calorie candy bar to the 40 minutes it took to burn it off. The candy bar might not seem as tempting next time.
*Set your walking shoes by the door, or your bed. If you see them rather than your slippers, you may be more likely to use them.
*Try Google’s 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. It also integrates with Apple Health and Google Fit.
*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!
|Aryn Lloyd and Cody Lichthardt are personal trainers at Rock Valley Health. You can read their bios and other blog posts by clicking here.|
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health who counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|