It seems like a simple concept, but would there be such a huge marketing industry full of food, pills, and programs (all offering the magic to weight loss) if it were? It is difficult and like most difficult things, it takes knowing the proper approach to succeed.
Diet implies short-term. Making a permanent lifestyle change is not a DIET. It is a long-term commitment. Change is unavoidable. Some change is out of our control and some is intentional. Our thoughts, feelings, behaviors and habits are things we can intentionally change.
Weight loss is MULTI-DIMENSIONAL:
It is not just a simple case of stop eating, exercise more and you will lose the weight. It encompasses many factors.
- psychological issues that prevent us from losing weight
- health problems that cause weight gain
- socioeconomic issues that stand in the way of getting the right resources to be successful
- support systems, family structure and environment that create the setting for success or failure
Weight loss is DYNAMIC:
It is always changing depending on the factors mentioned above but also age. As we get older our body composition changes, our hormonal balance is shifted, and our metabolism slows down. What was easy to accomplish at 25 (like dropping 5 lbs in one week) can be a huge hurdle at 40. Our caloric demands are different and the type of foods we eat impact us differently at each decade of life.
Weight loss is a PROCESS:
There ARE NO QUICK FIXES! So, what is the process? Let me explain:
Weight loss requires three basic factors for success.
1. Willingness to change: everyone is in a different stage of change. Identifying what stage you are in is crucial to your success. Self-change is a process of identifying activities to help you initiate your thinking, feeling, and behavior toward weight loss. Timing is everything!
Many may have just discovered that their weight is a health issue and they need to lose 20 lbs to get their cholesterol or blood pressure under control while another is in the stage of actively seeking out healthier foods, joining a gym, and counting calories. Clearly the later is more committed to change based on their actions. But, the former can accomplish the same with time. Willingness to change involves identifying the need for a change, preparing for the change, taking action, and maintaining the change.
The key to successful change is using the right strategy at the right time. Often, assistance from a Health Coach, healthcare professional, or trainer is needed to work through this process.
2. Knowledge to change: I have used the analogy of taking a road trip without a map before but it is true. No one would set out on a long road trip to a new area of the country without a map and a plan (well, not if it were to be a successful mission). So, why do we start on a journey to lose weight, become healthier, and change our life without a plan?
Failure is often due to lack of guidance. This is where a professional is crucial in your success. Not in making you dependent upon that person, but by learning from a Health Coach the knowledge you need to be successful, helping you incorporate that knowledge into your daily life, and using what you have learned to prevent slips and to be successful in maintaining the change.
Here is an example of the perfect proportion of food that should be on your plate:
3. Staying on Course and being mindful of what you continue to eat, the lifestyle you continue to live, and your general well-being. It is a lifestyle modification. It requires constant supervision and like anything else in life that you want to see success in, it requires you full attention.
How can you get started on your journey to weight loss success?
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"Angie, I love your website! This post about losing weight being a process and the timing for losing weight being right describes me perfectly. I needed a health coach and a person who really cares. I'm so glad that person is you!"